Defense lawyer convicted of defrauding $ 15,000 client


MINNEAPOLIS – A Twin Cities criminal defense attorney has been convicted of stealing $ 15,000 from one of his clients, Hennepin County District Attorney Mike Freeman said Tuesday.

A jury on Monday declared Kristi McNeilly, 46, of Woodbury, guilty of fraudulent theft. Minnesota’s sentencing guidelines require that she be given probation and some work time, Freeman said.

McNeilly’s client, a 53-year-old man, was arrested for keeping a small amount of drugs in a safe. At one point in the case, according to the complaint, McNeilly told him that the lead prosecutor and investigator told him in a meeting that they had a strong case and that the accused was facing 15 to 20 years. federal prison.

McNeilly told his client he could avoid the charges either by paying a police union $ 35,000 and becoming a confidential informant, or by simply paying the union $ 50,000. McNeilly then drove the victim to a bank, where he paid her a check for $ 15,000 as partial payment of the $ 50,000, according to the complaint. She used the money for a mortgage payment, credit card payments and other personal expenses,

Further investigation showed that McNeilly had never met a prosecutor or investigator and that the offer to pay a police union money was bogus.

Sentencing is scheduled for December 27.

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