Virginia attorney indicted on 13 federal crimes, including wire and mail fraud

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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — A Lynchburg attorney now stands indicted on 13 counts of federal crimes – including wire fraud and mail fraud. Cherie Anne Washburn is accused of stealing money from clients for whom she had power of attorney.

The federal indictment states that Washburn began practicing law at a law firm in Forest in 2015 and specialized in elder law and estate planning.

It states that she used that position to engage in a scheme to defraud and obtain money or property from clients through false or fraudulent pretenses.

The indictment references Washburn withdrawing money from customers’ accounts and representing that it was for the customer’s benefit, but instead putting the money into her personal bank account or using it to pay personal bills.

There are many such withdrawals listed, totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars, along with the purchase of a house for which Washburn is said to have used a client’s money. The federal government is seeking more than $230,000, along with any property stolen from clients.

Washburn lost her license to practice law last year.

In a Consent to Revocation order before the state bar disciplinary board, she acknowledged that the allegations of misconduct against her spelled out in that form are true.

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