Ex-attorney pleads guilty to stealing $100,000 from client
Former attorney William R. Cathey, 54, of Oklahoma City, admitted spending insurance money paid to his client, who was injured in a 2004 motorcycle accident.
A former Oklahoma City attorney pleaded guilty Friday to stealing $100,000 in insurance money from a client.
William Reeves Cathey, 54, pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement and is to be sentenced May 17.
He faces up to 10 years in prison. His trial was set to begin Monday in Oklahoma County District Court.
Cathey voluntarily resigned last year from the state association of attorneys after his client filed a bar complaint.
The client, Stefan McGuigan, was injured in a motorcycle accident in December 2003 in Georgia, officials said. State Farm Insurance Co. paid him $100,000.
Police said Cathey began embezzling funds on Feb. 3, 2004, the same day the check was deposited into his client-trust account at Bank of Oklahoma.
Nearly six years later, after numerous attempts to obtain the money, McGuigan hired a new attorney and discovered the defendant had spent all of the money to maintain a “lavish lifestyle,” police said.
Cathey expressed remorse after entering his plea, and said he took a job in Colorado to make full restitution.
“We were very close friends,” he said of the victim. “That's one of the tragedies of a situation like this.”
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