Former Attorney Pleads Guilty To Defrauding Clients

(WIBW) - A former Topeka attorney admitted to stealing from client's trust funds.

52-year-old Robert Telthorst pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering.

In his plea, Telthorst admitted that from November 2005 to August 2011, he took more than $460,000 from his client's trust accounts.

His sentencing is set for February 19th. Both sides have agreed to recommend a sentence of five years in prison followed by three years of supervised release. He would also pay restitution of $460,542.

A release from the U.S. Attorney's Office described the defrauded victims as follows:

-- The daughters of a man identified in court documents as Otto K. After the man's death, Telthorst was appointed to administer $463,344 for the man's two daughters. The man wanted the first daughter, identified as Sheri T., to receive a lump sum. Money for the second daughter, identified as Marlene O., was to be invested, with monthly payments to be made to her. Before providing the lump sum to Sheri T., Telthorst took approximately $22,000 for his own benefit. In the trust for Marlene O, the balance dropped from more than $208,500 to less than $150 after Telthorst removed most of the funds for his own benefit.
-- The granddaughters of a client, identified as Mia, Olivia and Lillian. Telthorst set up three educational gift trusts of $10,000 each. He depleted all three trusts, leaving them each with balances of less than $350.
-- Arnold and Bertha J., who established a charitable trust of $80,000 for the KU School of Business. The balance in the account dropped to less than $1,750 after Telthorst diverted funds to his own benefit.


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