A former partner at US firm Greenberg Traurig has exchanged his corner office for a prison cell after being found guilty of overcharging a client by $100,000.

Mark McCombs was engaged in providing tax and assorted financial advice to Calumet Park, a suburb of Chicago. The very same suburb in which he grew up and which had - in an outpouring of love for its favourite son - named a street in his honour. However, McCombs seems to have been somewhat lacking in hometown pride, because it turns out he screwed Calumet Park by charging it for mountains of unperformed legal work. And to twist the knife, when the fraud was (pretty easily) discovered by local officials, McCombs is alleged to have offered to pay $100,000 of his own cash to have the investigation dropped.

    Mark McCombs settles into his new home town

McCombs was immediately fired by Greenberg, which has now paid back a whopping $3.2 million of legal fees. In a statement, the firm said "we pledged full cooperation with the investigation and we pledged full restitution of any fees that were not properly billed".

Interestingly, McCombs doesn't appeared to have benefitted personally from the fraud. Rather than pocketing the cash (cf Grierson, Christopher), the dodgy partner funnelled the money back to his firm in the vain hope that it would improve his standing amongst his fellow partners. Well, it looks like that backfired.

On Monday, McCombs started his six year stretch after pleading guilty to a single count of thieving $100k of government money. As he was led away, he was quoted as saying he was "extremely sorry". Probably not as sorry as he will be.

Tip Off ROF


Anonymous 16 September 11 14:39

tragic story, stealing to improve ones billings, the guy is an idiot but you gotta feel sorry for him.

Anonymous 05 December 11 13:49

I guess you don't have to be too smart to become partner.

There's hope for many yet!

Don’t miss your best career move. Receive approaches from top law firms and in-house employers when they want someone just like you.