A West Allis debt collection attorney facing criminal charges for allegedly stealing from clients had his license revoked Wednesday by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Randy Wynn faces two criminal charges of embezzlement of more than $10,000. According to court filings, he admitted to stealing money from clients to support his gambling habit.
Wynn – who graduated from Marquette University Law School in 1979 – in June asked the court to revoke his license. The justices held off, stating in an August opinion that they wanted to wait until restitution and how Wynn would pay were determined.
The court, in its newest opinion (PDF), fully revoked Wynn’s law license, effective Wednesday, and ordered him to pay $761,882.72 in restitution for 237 clients. The justices declined, however, to order Wynn to pay court costs.
“We agree that revocation is warranted and necessary,” the opinion states. “This has never been in dispute. Attorney Wynn admitted he used his law practice to misappropriate over three-quarters of a million dollars from numerous persons and entities.”
If Wynn wants to practice law again, he will have to wait at least five years to petition the state Supreme Court. The court’s opinion states that Wynn will have to pay all of the ordered restitution – or explain why he didn’t – in order to be reinstated.
Wynn could not immediately be reached for comment.
Wynn’s criminal charges stem from the theft of about $33,000 from the South Milwaukee-based Benkowski Builders Inc. According to the criminal complaint, Wynn embezzled money by “withdrawing cash from this client trust account beyond what his fee agreement entitled him to and some monies by not depositing client monies into his trust account at all.”
Benkowski had hired Wynn to go after those that owned the company money, but Wynn told investigators he started to keep money paid to him by debtors in November 2009.
Benkowski Builders’ vice president, Jay Benkowski, told investigators Wynn’s actions “caused actual losses to the company of closer to $250,000 and $300,000 because all of the debts that were assigned to the defendant became uncollectible,” the complaint states.
Wynn told investigators he stole from more than 200 clients, the complaint states. He has also said he sought help for his gambling and personal problems.
A plea hearing for his criminal case is scheduled for April 18 in front of Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Timothy Witkowiak.Follow @eheisigWLJ