Former Spector Gadon & Rosen trusts and estates lawyer pleads guilty to wire fraud

By Jon Campisi | Mar 18, 2014

A former lawyer with the Philadelphia law firm Spector Gadon & Rosen

whom the government accused of stealing more than a half-million dollars from the firm’s trusts and estates clients has admitted to his crimes.

Records at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania show that on Monday, Gomer Thomas Williams, III, 54, of Philadelphia, pleaded guilty before Judge Legrome D. Davis to one count of wire fraud.

Federal prosecutors in Philadelphia had recently charged Williams with wire fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud firm clients.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office alleged that between 2007 and 2012, the former attorney defrauded four of his trusts and estates clients of about $503,361 by diverting funds from their accounts to his personal accounts, and by overbilling clients for legal work that was never actually carried out.

Williams had been the trustee for the trusts in question and he was the administrator and/or executor of the estates that were defrauded.

A docket entry at the Eastern District of Pennsylvania shows that Williams pleaded guilty to the count of wire fraud on March 17.

The Legal Intelligencer reported Monday that when asked by Davis, the judge, why he was pleading guilty, Williams stated, “I committed the crimes I’m accused of and have confessed."

The disgraced former lawyer then reportedly continued, “I have no additional defenses, so a trial would be a waste of everyone’s time.”

Williams faces between 33 and 41 months in federal prison, an unspecified amount of fines, a $100 special assessment and up to three years of supervised release.

According to the criminal information that was filed against him, Williams’ clients included the A.B. Trust, the J.H. Trust, the M.K. Estate and the R.H. Estate.

Williams had exercised complete control over the financial accounts of the trusts and estates, including possessing and exercising check writing authority on their checking accounts.

Williams was disbarred on consent in late 2012, disciplinary records show.

The actual plea document in the case was not publicly available Monday.

Williams was represented by attorney William J. Winning of the Philadelphia firm Cozen O’Connor.

The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Louis D. Lappen.

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