An attorney who swindled a 97-year-old woman and other clients out of $4.3 million was sentenced Wednesday to 5 years, 3 months in prison.
M. Dewey Bain, 59, of Sugar Hill also was ordered to pay restitution. He was disbarred last October and pleaded guilty to wire fraud in April.
The 97-year-old victim told U.S. District Judge Thomas W. Thrash Jr. that Bain defrauded her out of nearly $1 million, making her unable to pay for her assisted living residence. The woman, who lives with relatives out of state, traveled to Atlanta so she could address the court.
Prosecutors gave this account of Bain's scheme:
Over a four-year period that ended in 2009, Bain entered into trust agreements with clients and agreed to invest their retirement savings and inheritances in safe accounts. Then he diverted their money for personal expenses and his own business interests. Through early 2009, Bain falsely assured his victims that their trust accounts were earning good interest based on his investments.
Under one of the trust agreements, Bain invested the 97-year-old woman's money in certificates of deposit and paid her personal expenses out of the trust. He later liquidated the certificates based on false pretenses, shifting the money to his own bank account. He also wrote checks off her credit card account, without authorization.
Bain, who had been licensed in Georgia and Texas, preyed mainly on elderly clients, prosecutors said.
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Credit: Ben Hendren for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution