WARSAW — Former Warsaw attorney Scott Lennox, 51, will be sentenced at 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 28, in Plymouth, after stealing funds from the law firm he worked for.
Lennox, who now lives in St. Clair, Mich., is charged with two counts of fraud on a financial institution, level 5 felonies; and six counts of theft, level 6 felonies.
On Nov. 27, 2018, a Warsaw Police officer met with attorney Matthew Buehler who alleged Lennox had taken money from three trust accounts and from the business operating account of Lennox, Sobek and Buehler, LLC.
On Dec. 21, 2017, the law firm opened an IOLTA trust account with Lake City Bank. An IOLTA account is a trust account for an attorney for the short-term holding of client funds not yet earned or disbursed. In October of 2018, Buehler learned that Lennox was removing money from the trust account for personal use.
Buehler further said he was notified by the law firm’s bookkeeper that Lennox made a cash withdraw on Oct. 30, 2018, of $5,500 from the trust account. Of that amount, $5,000 was deposited into the firm’s business account but no fees had been earned to justify the withdrawal. Similar incidents occurred on Nov. 7, 2018; and on Nov. 8, 2018. Charging documents also show that on Nov. 21, 2018, Lennox made an online transaction from the trust account to Lennox’s personal Verizon Wireless account in the amount of $1,620.71.
On Nov. 21, 2018, Lennox went to a local branch of Lake City Bank and presented a typed document claiming authorization to add his name back onto the trust account. Buehler had not given Lennox the authority to do so. Lennox also presented and cashed checks from the law firm trust account, made payable to Lennox, twice in November 2018.
On Nov. 29, 2018, a WPD officer spoke with the law firm’s bookkeeper, who said she wrote checks at Lennox’s direction for $7,000 to Bowers Jewelry and $6,000 to The Car Company. Neither of the companies was clients of the law firm. The Bowers Jewelry check was for an engagement ring and The Car Company check was for payment for Lennox’s son’s vehicle.
On April 15, 2019, acting upon anonymous information, Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Deputies found Lennox at a motel in West Lansing, Mich. He was extradited to Kosciusko County Jail.
Lennox failed to appear on both Feb. 4 and Feb. 11, 2020, for a scheduled pre-sentence investigation interview, according to a document from the Marshall County Probation Department filed Feb. 12.
On Feb. 10, Lennox filed a motion to waive formal evaluation for PSI, in part because Lennox “currently resides in Michigan and it is an approximate six-hour drive for him to come back to Marshall County,” Indiana, where the criminal case was assigned.
His law license was suspended in 2019.
Lennox “is gainfully employed and it is difficult for him to take time off of work to come back to Marshall County,” according to court documents.
The document further states that Lennox “is available to complete the interview telephonically, which telephone number for Mr. Lennox can be provided by counsel to the probation department upon the granting of Mr. Lennox’s request.”
The document from the Marshall County Probation Department states that the probation officer has not had any communication with Lennox at this time.
An order denying the motion was filed Feb. 10. The order stated that Lennox “is to make arrangements to report to the Marshall County Probation Department to appear in person to complete the pre-sentence report.”
A pre-sentence investigation report was filed by the Marshall County Probation Department on Feb. 21.