Disbarred Center City attorney pleads guilty to bilking clients out of more than $500,000

Posted: March 19, 2014

GOMER THOMAS Williams, a Philadelphia trusts and estates lawyer arrested in January and charged with stealing more than $500,000 from clients, pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court.

Williams, 54, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud clients of the law firm where he worked, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Williams committed his crimes while working as an attorney and associate with the Philadelphia law firm Spector Gadon & Rosen between 2007 and 2012, federal prosecutors said.

He has since been terminated and disbarred.

Attempts to reach Williams' defense attorney, William Winning, of Cozen O'Connor, were not successful yesterday.

U.S. District Court Judge Legrome Davis scheduled a sentencing hearing for June 23, at which time Williams will face a potential prison sentence of 33 to 41 months, fines and up to three years of supervised release.

Williams defrauded four of his trust and estate clients of about $503,361 by diverting funds from their accounts to his personal accounts, and by overbilling them for legal work that was not performed, the feds said.

For the trusts, Williams was the trustee, and, for the estates, Williams was the administrator and/or executor. He exercised complete control over his clients' funds, including controlling their checking accounts, according to prosecutors.

They further contended that Williams abused his fiduciary position in transferring funds from clients' accounts to pay his own personal expenses, including the mortgage on his home.

On Twitter: @MensahDean

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