Former Rhode Island Lawyer Charged in $46,000 Settlement Theft

A disbarred North Kingstown, R.I., lawyer has been arrested on allegations he stole more than $46,000 in client funds.

State police charged 65-year-old James Currier with unlawful appropriation over $1,000 Thursday. Authorities say he was disbarred from practicing law in Rhode Island last year for failing to promptly deliver funds for a client and diverting the money for his own use.

Police say Currier represented a client in settlement negotiations with an insurance company over water damage to the client’s home. When Currier received a $46,000 settlement check for the client, police say he deposited it into his client account but later withdrew the money for his own use.

Currier was released on $15,000 personal recognizance. A message seeking comment was left Friday at a phone listing for Currier.