Bad Lawyers

Las Vegas Attorney Going to Prison after Stealing from Clients
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Las Vegas

Summary: A former Las Vegas attorney will spend at least 2 ½ years behind bars before earning the chance for parole after stealing money from several clients.

Former Las Vegas attorney Jeanne Winkler has already been disbarred. Now Winkler will be spending up to seven years behind bars for stealing over $140,000 from clients. District Judge Richard Scotti saw through her tears as she pleaded for leniency. He had “no doubt greed played a significant role” in her actions.


Winkler will spend at least 2 ½ years behind bars before becoming eligible for parole. Scotti explained, “There has to be consequences commensurate with the amount of harm you’ve inflicted.” She must also pay roughly $143,000 in restitution.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Jay Raman claimed that Winkler took money from several clients, including Juanita Thompson. She told the judge that she lost around $70,000 during a 2008 divorce proceeding to the “pure evil” Winkler. A former law partner of Winkler’s wrote that she had stolen $10,000 from him and his clients, ruining his reputation.

Just last year Winkler was ordered to serve 100 community service hours and pay $47,000 in restitution by a federal judge for another crime. She had developed a scheme to take over and defraud homeowners associations in the Las Vegas area. She lost her license in 2011 and was arrested on state theft and embezzlement charges for misappropriating $233,000 from a client trust account.

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For the federal case, Winkler was a victim in a ten year long investment fraud scheme involving Family Court Judge Steven Jones, who is now in prison. She had cooperated with prosecutors and served as a government witness against Jones.

Winkler will get one week with family before being required to surrender for her sentence. She pleaded guilty to theft in May.

Where do you think Winkler went wrong? Did she make one little mistake that sets her down the wrong path or do you think she was bad from the beginning? Tell us in the comments below.

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