BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (KT) - A former attorney from Campbellsville has been sentenced to eight years in federal prison after pleading guilty to misappropriating over $1.2 million of clients’ money.
The sentencing, by United States District Court Chief Judge Greg N. Stivers, took place at U.S. District Court in Bowling Green.
Danny Butler, who had his law office in Greensburg, entered the guilty plea to five counts of wire fraud, as part of a scheme to obtain money from clients of his legal practice, by misappropriating funds to pay personal expenses including gambling losses, according to United States Attorney Russell M. Coleman.
Butler, 72, was indicted on Nov. 15, 2017. According to a sentencing memo before the Court, from August 2009 through October 2016, Butler used his position as an attorney to steal funds from his clients causing a loss of over $1.2 million dollars to his client victims, who were a combination of estate and general civil law practice clients.
During this time, Butler incurred approximately $1.5 million in gambling losses. Butler used the stolen money to fund his gambling habits as well as to fund payments to other clients in a “Ponzi” type fashion. Butler used the theft from his clients to fund an extravagant lifestyle.
“Lawyers have a solemn duty to protect their clients’ interests and at a minimum, be trustworthy,” said Coleman. “Danny Butler abandoned these principles and will pay a steep price.”
After serving his eight-year prison term, Butler will have two years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $1,293,072.84 in restitution.
Butler has also been permanently disbarred from practicing law in the state by the Kentucky Supreme Court.