A Wausau attorney could lose his license for allegedly stealing more than $33,000 from a client.
A complaint from the Office of Lawyer Regulation says LJB Services hired Craig A. Knapp in January 2017 to work on a matter with another company. Shortly after the hiring, Knapp sent a letter to the other company’s counsel saying he would accept service of any legal process for LJB and any dividend checks. The company sent Knapp more than $33,000 between September 2017 and January 2018.
According to the OLR complaint, Knapp lied to LJB about how much money he received and how much was in his trust account over that period of time. The account dipped as low as $11 at one point, although Knapp told LJB he was holding nearly $13,000.
In March 2018, the owner of LJB emailed Knapp asking for the amount in the trust. Knapp responded by saying he was holding more than $33,000. In fact, though, the trust account’s balance was about $554. The owner of LJB asked to pick up a check for the money, and according to the complaint, Knapp made a number of excuses for why he didn’t send the money, saying he was going out of town, the mail was delayed and the IRS had seized the money. OLR intake staff employees said Knapp told them the IRS had seized it and LJB’s owner was accusing him of stealing.
Knapp is faced with seven charges related to the missing money and two related to a drunken-driving arrest in Marathon County. The OLR is asking the court to revoke Knapp’s license and order him to pay back the more than $33,000 to LJB.