LEBANON, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Lebanon attorney has been indicted following an investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office.
Jennifer Porth, a divorce and family law attorney, is accused of misappropriating more than $250,000 from clients’ trust accounts. She also served as a court-appointed conservator to handle the financial affairs of clients who were mentally or physically incompetent and served as an administrator of decedents’ estates. She maintained and controlled funds in multiple trust accounts from which she reportedly stole.
Comptroller investigators say Porth made thousands of dollars’ worth of cash withdrawals from trust accounts, including $220,800 in direct cash withdrawals from 10 separate conservator and probate accounts, $22,895 in transfers made from client accounts to her personal bank account. The comptroller’s office also says she transferred $10,352 between separate conservator and probate accounts in an apparent attempt to conceal the shortages in various client accounts.
Investigators with the comptroller’s office found multiple documents in Porth’s files supporting the allegations, as well as evidence that she prepared annual accounting filed with the court that did not include the cash withdrawals she made from the account. The omission “has the effect of misleading the court about the financial condition of the estate to conceal her misappropriation,” per the comptroller’s office.
Based upon this investigation, the Wilson County Grand Jury indicted Porth on one count of theft over $250,000 this month.
The results of this investigation have also been communicated to the Board of Professional Responsibility of the Supreme Court of Tennessee. To view the full report, click here.