Former Portland Lawyer Pleads Guilty to Multiple Felonies for Bilking Clients – Willamette Week

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lede_FeaturedImage_4512 Lori Deveny
Lori Deveny, a former Portland lawyer known for exotic hunting trophies and a fondness for poker, has pleaded guilty to a laundry list of federal felonies after admitting she bilked her clients for years.
Acting U.S. Attorney for Oregon Scott Asphaug announced this morning that Deveny 56, had pleaded guilty to mail, bank and wire fraud; aggravated identity theft; money laundering; and filing a false tax return.
The charges stemmed from 2011 to 2019, when Deveny repeatedly kept and spent insurance settlements meant for clients of her personal injury law practice. Many of Deveny’s clients were highly vulnerable, having suffered serious injury in car crashes or other incidents. Among them was Margaret Medley, who was 68 in 2015 when a car crashed into her electric wheelchair as she crossed a McMinnville street.
For a 2019 cover story, Medley told WW that Deveny was “always very upbeat” but strung her along for years on an insurance settlement, making partial payment only after Medley filed a complaint with the Oregon State Bar.
Related: For Decades, Clients Trusted a Portland Lawyer to Get Compensation for Their Injuries. It Turns Out She Kept Much of Their Money
Deveny’s case intersected with another high-profile Oregon case: the tortuous 2014 Lane County prosecution of Portland real estate investor and Democratic campaign contribution bundler Terry Bean. In that case Bean stood accused of sexually abusing a 15-year-old boy in Eugene in 2013.
Deveny represented the alleged victim in a related civil proceeding. Bean reached a civil settlement with the young man, who declined to testify against Bean, resulting in a dismissal of the criminal case in 2015. But Deveny allegedly stole most of the more than $200,000 that Bean had agreed to pay the young man. When the young man realized he was going to end up empty-handed, he belatedly agreed to testify against Bean and the criminal case was refiled in 2019. It was dismissed again earlier this year on the eve of trial when the young man again declined to participate.
Deveny has agreed to make restitution to victims and now faces sentencing Nov. 23 in front of U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman. The most serious charge to which she pleaded guilty, bank fraud, carries a penalty of up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million.
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