News

Quincy lawyer Cashman disbarred by Illinois Supreme Court

Devin Cashman
Posted: Sep. 21, 2012 5:03 pm Updated: Oct. 5, 2012 7:15 pm

By DON O'BRIEN
Herald-Whig Staff Writer

A Quincy lawyer has been disbarred by the Illinois Supreme Court as a result of a complaint to the Illinois Attorney Registration and Discipline Commission.

Devin Cashman, 53, was disbarred on consent. Cashman had been licensed to practice in Illinois since November 1984 and is a partner in his own firm in Quincy.

According to a report posted on the ARDC website, Cashman "misappropriated funds from three clients, including the executors of two probate estates. He also presented a report to a count in one of the probate manners where he falsely stated that estate assets had been distributed to persons entitled to receive them under the decendent's (sic) will."

Peter Roskoff, chief of litigation for the ARDC, said Cashman will not be allowed to practice law in Illinois for at least three years from his disbarment date, which was Sept. 17.

"Reinstatement is not automatic," Roskoff said. "Most people who are disbarred are never reinstated."

The initial complaint against Cashman alleged that he took nearly $200,000 from a client trust bank account without authorization for personal ad business uses and that he didn't show up at a hearing concerning the allegations to make a sworn statement.

Cashman acknowledged all the previous allegations set out in the ARDC's petition, Roskoff said.

º According to ARDC, Cashman agreed in 2008 to represent the estate of the late Elizabeth L. Wilkins. He drew at least $162,571.75 in proceeds belonging to the estate by negotiating checks payable to himself or taking cash from his trust account. Between May 2008 and November 2009, Cashman wrote 16 checks payable to himself or to cash from his trust account from the estate. Cashman used the funds for his own business or personal expenses without the authority of the estate's representative or the court.

º In October 2009, Cashman prepared a final report in the Wilkins case. At Cashman's request, the executor of the will signed the report and Cashman filed it. The report falsely stated that the estate's assets had been distributed to the persons entitled to receive them under the decedent's will.

º In 2010, Cashman was holding funds on behalf of Craig Cherington, executor for the Meta Lichtenberg estate, which was pending in Adams County. From March to June 2010, Cashman used $15,250 of the funds belonging to the Lichtenberg estate by writing seven checks to himself out of his trust account. Cashman used the funds without the authority of the estate's representative or the court.

º In 2011, Cashman was holding funds on the behalf of Elsie Lichtenberg and on behalf of the Lichtenberg estate for the purposes of paying income taxes. Between April 2011 and July 2011, Cashman used $19,250 of the funds belonging to Elsie Lichtenberg and the Lichtenberg estate by writing five checks to himself out of his trust account. Cashman used the funds without the authority of the estate's representative or Elsie Lichtenberg.

Cashman still faces felony theft charges in Adams County. He was arrested in March and charged with theft over $100,000, a Class 1 felony. A conviction for a Class 1 felony would mean Cashman would not be eligible for probation and could be sentenced to up to 15 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. He is free on a $50,000 recognizance bond. He recently had his bond modified to allow him to travel to Missouri and Iowa.

Cashman has pleaded not guilty. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. Nov. 16. The case has tentatively been set for the December jury docket.

-- dobrien@whig.com/221-3370