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Case Number: 2:21-cr-00464-DBB
Court: United States District Court for the District of Utah (Salt Lake County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office
Defendant's Attorney: Greg Skordas
Description: Salt Lake City, Utah criminal defense lawyer represented defendant charged with wire fraud and money laundering.
Attorney Calvin Curtis, age 61, of Salt Lake City, pleaded guilty in November of 2021, to embezzling millions of dollars from clients of his estate planning law firm based in Salt Lake City, known as Calvin Curtis Attorney at Law PLLC, and Curtiselderlaw.com. By the time of his sentencing, it had been discovered that Curtis had embezzled over $12 million dollars from his former clients who prosecutors say are elderly, incapacitated, or disabled individuals.
In the plea agreement, Curtis admitted that he is an attorney who specialized in special needs trusts and that beginning in January 2008, he began a fraudulent scheme to defraud a client known as “G.M.” out of money. Curtis admitted that due to his role, he had access to millions of dollars in two different trust accounts belonging to victim G.M., and that he transferred at least $9,500,000 intended for the care of G.M. into his own accounts, and then used this money for his own personal use. Curtis admitted that he also created fake financial statements and submitted these to the court ordered conservator of G.M. to conceal the fraud.
In pleading guilty to the wire fraud charge, Curtis admitted that on January 25, 2018, that he caused a wire communication from a Schwab Investment Account to his own Wells Fargo account, resulting in a transfer of $1,485,000. Curtis admitted that he used the money for his own personal benefit to make mortgage payments on his combined home and office located on South Temple Street in Salt Lake City, Utah; to support a lavish lifestyle with frequent travel; to purchase tickets to basketball and football games; to give lavish gifts to others; and to support the operations of his law firm.
In pleading guilty to the money laundering count, Curtis admitted that he fraudulently caused $135,000 to be transferred online from G.M. to his own Wells Fargo account, and that he used these funds to wire $95,000 to The Fechtel Company for the remodel of his home in Tampa, Florida. Curtis admitted that he knew these transactions were illegal at the time they occurred, and that the money was not used for the benefit of G.M.
Assistant United States Attorneys prosecuted the cases against Curtis and Special Agents from the FBI and IRS Criminal Investigation conducted the investigation.
Outcome: BOP 97 months. 36 months probation with standard and special conditions as stated on the record. No fine. SPA $200. Restitution of $12,779,496.51 as stated on the record. Forfeiture of real property located at 1135 East South Temple Street in Salt Lake City, Utah; a money judgment equal to the value of any property, real or personal, constituting or derived from proceeds traceable to the scheme to defraud and not available for forfeiture as a result of any act or omission of the defendant(s) for one or more of the reasons listed in 21 U.S.C. 853(p); substitute property as allowed by 28 U.S.C. 2461(c) and 21 U.S.C. 853(p); funds in the amount of $384,919.04 seized from Wells Fargo Bank account ending in 3424; jewelry purchased at Summit Diamond for $73,935.