November 22, 2011
The jokes about attorneys go on and one. Let’s face it, we trust attorneys about as much as we trust used car salesmen and auto mechanics. Often they deserve their well-earned moniker of a “shark.”
Have you ever felt over-billed by an attorney? Odds are you didn’t fight the bill too much. You sure don’t want to piss off your attorney, or any attorney for that matter. Most act like bullies with their threats.
A Chicago attorney accused of billing Calumet Park (Illinois) $600 per hour for work he never did pleaded guilty to theft.
Mark McCombs, 50, was sentenced by Cook County Judge Jorge Alonso to six years in prison for an overbilling scheme that spanned several years and cost the small south suburban community more than $1 million.
McCombs served as special counsel for village and worked primarily on issues related to a tax increment financing(TIF) district.
A state’s attorney’s investigation of McCombs was triggered in 2010 after Community High School District 218 Superintendent John Byrne started questioning McCombs about the tax increment financing district.
The lawyer allegedly responded by offering to pay the school district for Byrne’s silence. But he reported McCombs to village officials.
A subsequent review of records showed that he had billed the TIF fund for about $2 million since 2007 even though no economic development projects had been completed.
McCombs was arrested in March 2010 and charged with overbilling the tax increment financing district he represented.
McCombs pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government funds in excess of $100,000.
This is crazy. How could he think he could get away with this? The sad thing is this is happening every day. This is just one of the “rotten sharks” that got caught and filleted.