Bucks County Lawyer Sentenced for Tax Evasion and Fraud
PHILADELPHIA—Randolph Scott, 72, of Doylestown, PA, an attorney whose practice included estate and probate matters, was sentenced today to 48 months in prison for defrauding a client’s estate of more than $1.7 million. Scott maintained a law office—Randolph Scott Associates—in Warrington, PA. He pleaded guilty on March 26, 2015 to one count each of mail fraud, tax evasion, attempting to interfere with administration of internal revenue laws, and three counts of failure to file income tax returns.
Between December 2005 and October 2011, while representing the estate of John C. Bready, Scott diverted approximately $1,758,193 of estate funds to his law office accounts. Because the estate was valued at more than $6 million at the time of Bready’s death in 2005, federal law required that a federal estate tax return be filed which would have resulted in approximately $520,351 being paid to the Internal Revenue Service. Scott purposefully failed to file the required form in order to maintain sufficient money in the estate to pay its beneficiaries and to avoid detection of the theft.
After the estate’s executor died in 2009, Scott failed to disclose the death so that the investment account manager would continue to send the executor’s checks to Scott’s law firm. Scott would then forge the executor’s signature and deposit the checks into his law firm’s account. Scott had the successor executor sign a document renouncing the position of successor executor so that Scott could continue to forge the signature of the deceased executor and divert money belonging to the estate.
In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge J. Curtis Joyrner ordered restitution in the amount of $2,317,917.67, forfeiture of $1,758,193, three years of supervised release, and a $375 special assessment.
The case was investigated by the IRS Criminal Investigations and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Judy G. Smith.