BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – United States District Court Chief Judge Greg N. Stivers sentenced, Campbellsville, Kentucky, attorney, Danny Butler, to 8 years in federal prison followed by 2 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $1,293,072.84 in restitution for a scheme to obtain money from clients of his legal practice, by means of misappropriating funds, in order to pay personal expenses including gambling losses, announced United States Attorney Russell M. Coleman. There is no parole in the federal system.
“Lawyers have a solemn duty to protect their clients’ interests and at a minimum, be trustworthy,” stated U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman. “Danny Butler abandoned these principles and will pay a steep price.”
Butler was indicted on November 15, 2017. According to a sentencing memo before the Court, from August 2009 through October 2016, Butler used his position as an attorney to steal funds from his clients causing a loss of over $1.2 million dollars to his client victims who were a combination of estate and general civil law practice clients.
During the period of the theft, Butler incurred approximately $1.5 million in gambling losses. Butler used the stolen money to fund his gambling habits as well as to fund payments to other clients in a “Ponzi” type fashion. Butler used the theft from his clients to fund an extravagant lifestyle.
Butler misappropriated funds from the following clients:
· Approximately $148,106 from the estate of L.A.;
· Approximately $29,987.07 from the estate of L.P.;
· Approximately $401,500 from the representation of B.M.;
· Approximately $50,000 from the representation of D.M.;
· Approximately $50,000 from the estate of D.B.;
· Approximately $90,000 from the representation of J.R.B.;
· Approximately $90,000 from the estate of E.U.;
· Approximately $25,000 from the estate of E.M.;
· Approximately $59,000 from the representation of J.W.S.;
· Approximately $25,000 for the representation of E.S.; and
· Approximately $125,000 from the estate of L.P.M.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Bryan Calhoun and Nicole Elver, and was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).