Longtime Washington Lawyer Admits Embezzling More Than $1M

A longtime Whidbey Island, Wash., lawyer has admitted embezzling more than $1 million of his clients’ money.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Portland, Ore., said 63-year-old Peter Allen Moote pleaded guilty Monday in Seattle to one count of mail fraud. He faces a maximum 20 years in prison and $250,000 fine at sentencing set for June 22. Moote also agreed to pay restitution to his victims, in an amount to be determined at sentencing.

U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall says the lawyer represented clients in personal injury, sexual harassment, discrimination and other cases, negotiating settlements for many of them and receiving their settlement checks. Moote admitted he used the embezzled money for his own expenses and for gambling, among other things.

He resigned from the Washington State Bar in November 2010.