La. Attorney Sentenced to Eight Years for Swiping Clients’ Money

March 30, 2006

A Louisiana attorney has been sentenced to eight years in prison for charges stemming from the misuse of his clients’ insurance money and his failure to pay more than $100,000 in restitution.

Keith Labat, of Thibodaux, pleaded guilty in January to 33 counts of issuing worthless checks, seven counts of theft and two counts of forgery. State District Judge Hugh Larose sentenced him March 27.

Prosecutors said Labat signed his clients’ checks, deposited them into his own bank account and used the money for personal expenses.

Larose said a suspended sentence likely would result in Labat committing more crimes. Labat was put on interim suspension by the Louisiana Bar Association in March 2004, but failed to pay $11,170 in ordered restitution.

The judge said that if Labat is paroled, he will still have to pay back the money. However, serving a full eight-year sentence will cancel that obligation, Larose said.

Information from: Daily Comet,

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