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Disbarred Washington lawyer pleads guilty to theft charges

September 27, 2018

KENNEWICK, Wash. (AP) — A disbarred Washington lawyer accused of pocketing his clients’ money has pleaded guilty to theft charges.

The Tri-City Herald reported Tuesday that 45-year-old Christopher Lee Neal lost his law license in February following a lengthy investigation by the Washington State Bar Association.

Neal is accused of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from his clients and keeping the money instead of handing it over to the IRS to pay off their back taxes.

He is also accused of keeping almost $66,000 in tax refunds meant for a client.

Neal pleaded guilty last week to two counts of first-degree theft.

He could face up to six months in county jail.

Neal was in a wheelchair during a brief hearing.

His lawyer has asked for sentencing to be pushed back due to his client’s health issues.

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Information from: Tri-City Herald, http://www.tri-cityherald.com

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