Ex-Whidbey lawyer pleads guilty to embezzlement

SEATTLE — A former Whidbey Island lawyer pleaded guilty Monday to embezzling more than $1 million from his clients using a mail fraud scheme.

Peter Allen Moote, 63, practiced law in Island County for many years. He was accused of defrauding clients for more than a decade. Prosecutors alleged that Moote pocketed money that belonged to his clients through settlements he negotiated for them. He used the money to pay for his personal living and law firm expenses. He also used the money for gambling, according to prosecutors.

Moote resigned from the Washington State Bar Association in 2010.

He is expected to be sentenced in June in U.S. District Court in Seattle. As part of the plea agreement, Moote agreed to pay restitution to the victims. A receivership has been set up in Island County Superior Court to collect and divide Moote’s assets among his victims.

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