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March 5, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Whidbey Island lawyer charged with fraud

The Associated Press

A former Whidbey Island lawyer is facing a federal fraud charge for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from his clients.

Peter Moote has already resigned from his profession because he was facing disbarment. From the 1990s until late 2010 he represented people in personal injury and employment law cases, and he would sometimes settle their cases without telling them, then keep the money.

Prosecutors say he used the money for living and business expenses, mortgage payments and gambling.

Among his victims was a woman who was left a quadriplegic after she was run over by a drunk driver.

The Federal Public Defender’s office in Seattle said Monday that Moote is ashamed of what he did and he will plead guilty.

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