(CINCINNATI) – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph Deters announced today the indictment of a disbarred attorney who allegedly stole more than $400,000 from an 83-year-old woman from Morrow, Ohio.
William G. Goetz, of Cincinnati, was indicted Tuesday by a Hamilton County grand jury on two counts of Theft from the Elderly, two counts of Money Laundering, and one count of Tampering with Records. If convicted, Goetz faces a maximum of 31 years in prison.
"Prosecutor Deters and I both believe that we need to prosecute those who prey on the elderly," said Attorney General DeWine. "The amount of money that this man allegedly stole from the victim is staggering."
According to investigators, Goetz prepared legal documents and participated in a complex real estate transaction for the homeowner. He allegedly took more than $400,000 from the homeowner that was intended for future tax payments stemming from the land deal. Goetz is accused of depositing the funds into his business accounts for his own personal use.
As part of the deception, Goetz also created a fake letter from the Ohio Attorney General's office to further his crimes.
Goetz was disbarred by the North Dakota Supreme Court in 1991 for fraudulent dealings with his clients. He is not and has never been an attorney admitted to the practice of law in Ohio. The Ohio Supreme Court sanctioned Goetz for unauthorized practice of law and fined him $30,000 in 2005.
A warrant has been issued for Goetz's arrest.
The indictment was the result of a collaborative investigation by the Attorney General's Economic Crimes Unit, the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office, and the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office.
Attorneys from the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Section, Economic Crimes Unit, have been appointed as a special prosecuting attorney for the case. The Economic Crimes Unit was established by Attorney General DeWine to help prepare criminal consumer fraud cases for local prosecution.
Consumers who believe they have been treated unfairly should file a complaint with the Ohio Attorney General's Office at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov or by calling 800-282-0515.
Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840
Jill Del Greco: 614-466-3840