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Missouri Attorney Gets|44 Months for Fraud

ST. LOUIS (CN) - A Missouri attorney was sentenced Thursday to 44 months in federal prison for defrauding clients and his own mother.

Jeffrey M. Witt, 40, of St. Charles, pleaded guilty in July to felony of bank fraud, felony aggravated identity theft and felony mail fraud. He also was ordered to pay $234,472 in restitution.

Prosecutors said Witt and an accomplice forged Witt's mother's signature on loan documents to obtain a $100,000 line of credit. Witt immediately withdrew $60,000 for personal use. He tried to cover it up by falsifying documents stating that he had canceled the loan.

Prosecutors also said Witt entered into settlement agreements on behalf of clients without the clients' knowledge. He spent that money on himself, too.

Witt fled the country in October 2013, to the Philippines, Australia, Jordan, England and Turkey. He left dozens of clients with open cases in legal limbo. Several have had default judgments levied against them because Witt failed to appear.

Witt was arrested in March at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City after arriving from Turkey.

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