Jennifer Wexton is a codefendant in a lawsuit where allegations of missing client trust money have been levied on her partnership, by Wexton’s former clients. It appears that the plaintiffs, Gail and Theodore Moore, may have been defrauded by the ‘possibly-illegal’ partnership of Ritenour, Paice, Mougin-Boal & Wexton (hereafter collectively referred to as “RPMW”) to the tune of over $130,000. As an attorney on this case, Wexton may find herself culpable for the missing funds.
The case of Moore v. RPMW was filed at 11:00 AM on 12/24/13 before Judge Mayer in Alexandria VA. The case number is 13-01337-RGM. The attorney for the plaintiffs is Frank Bredimus. The Moore family is filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 and suing RPMW citing Wexton and others as the cause of their predicament. There is nothing new under the sun here. A lawyer or lawyers at RPMW have been accused of swindling the Moores, who were the proper recipients of monies from a trust fund. Where did the Moore’s money go?
The first part of the complaint is as follows:
- Neither RPMW nor its predecessor nor any individual or corporate Defendant has filed a certificate on behalf of RPMW or its predecessor as called for in Virginia Code Section 59.1-69. 12.
- There exists no written partnership agreement creating the general partnership known as RPMW or its predecessor.
- The services as referenced herein provided by Ritenour, Ritenour, P.C. and RPMW to the Moore family were legal services.
- All partners of RPMW are liable jointly and severally for all of the obligations of the partnership
It appears Jennifer Wexton is a partner in a law firm is in violation of Virginia Code Section 59.1-69. 12. What this means is that no person, partnership, LLC or Corp. shall conduct business in VA under any assumed or fictitious name unless they sign a certificate stating the name under which such business is to be conducted. This is to defend the public from potential fraud. The statute is applicable here as the law firm allegedly changed its name to avoid suit by the Moore family.
It appears that in their hurry to avoid one legal issue, RPMW stumbled into a second. As a former prosecutor in Loudoun, one would expect Ms. Wexton to both follow the law and have the acumen to steer RPMW clear of such a simple legal pitfall.
The second part of the complaint is:
- On or about January 30, 2012, an entity known as PIM, LLC sold certain real property resulting in substantial proceeds of sale. PIM, LLC was an LLC owned by Theodore I. Moore and his brother, Perry Moore.
- One-half of the above-referenced proceeds of sale belong to the Moore’s. On or about January 31, 2012, $875,334.85 was deposited into a trustee account of under the name of the Moore’s and PIM, LLC.
- Between January 31, 2012 and May 10, 2012 a partner made disbursements from that trust account. Some of those disbursements were to or on behalf of the Moore family and were appropriate. There were other disbursements made from the trust account that were not appropriate and were not made on behalf of the Moore’s. The total of such funds inappropriately disbursed is currently calculated to be $137,945.48 (hereafter the claimed funds) subject to further discovery in this proceeding.
The plaintiff appears to have caught Jennifer Wexton’s partnership with its hand in the cookie jar, and is claiming to have been defrauded to the tune of at least $137K, possibly more. Billing records show Ms. Wexton was an attorney on this case. Under the law, Wexton can be found liable for the potential fraud. One cannot help but ask, “What is Jennifer Wexton’s part in this, what did she know, and when did she know it?”
Why did not Jennifer Wexton report the misappropriation of the funds? Why did Jennifer Wexton not protect the interests of Gail Moore? Wexton claims to be a champion of women. What about Gail? She is not only a woman, but a client of Wexton’s; as such Wexton has a fiduciary duty to Gail. Wexton had two years to act on her client’s behalf prior to the filing of this suit. Jennifer did nothing. Why? A final question for the rest of us is, “What else has Jennifer Wexton gotten herself into?”
Clearly, given the lawsuit, Gail does not see her interests having been protected by Jennifer. Ms. Wexton is running for the Virginia Senate as a tough prosecutor, perhaps she should get her own life in order before getting involved in the affairs of other Virginians.
CROSS-POSTED AT Virginia Virtucon.