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Former Billings attorney pleads guilty to stealing money from clients

Former Billings attorney pleads guilty to stealing money from clients

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BILLINGS - A former Billings attorney who was sentenced to prison for stealing money from clients in 1987 has admitted doing it again.

Marvin E. "Toby" Alback, 62, pleaded guilty Tuesday to wire fraud and bankruptcy fraud for misappropriating money from clients for his own use.

In 1987, Alback was sentenced to 16 years in prison, with 13 years suspended, for stealing $95,000 from two clients in Bozeman. He was disbarred in 1988 and his license was reinstated in 2000.

In the current wire fraud case, prosecutors said Alback forged a client's name on a $12,500 settlement check in a wrongful termination case, deposited it into his account and never gave the client her share.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Archer also said Alback was hired in March 2008 to handle a family's Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

When the family had trouble making mortgage payments, Alback told them to make payments to him, and he would deposit the money with the bank

Archer said Alback didn't make the payments. He eventually repaid the family but significant back payments and late fees had to be made to avoid foreclosure.

An investigation revealed that Alback also took a $557 tax refund check that should have gone into the bankruptcy estate.

Alback entered his plea before U.S. Magistrate Judge Carolyn Ostby. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

Alback wrote a letter to the Montana State Bar permanently resigning his license effective Nov. 6 amid other misconduct allegations. The Montana Supreme Court issued a 90-day suspension in December.


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