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A law firm’s worst nightmare?

U.S. Attorney John Brownlee and Attorney General Bob McDonnell made a joint announcement this morning that may strike fear in just about any law office…or at least send lawyers scurrying to check their internal procedures.

A woman who was a legal secretary in a Louisa County law firm has been indicted in Charlottesville federal court for identity theft, fraud and a number of other crimes.

She stands accused of taking the personal information of one of the firm’s partners – such as his birth date and Social Security number – to open a credit card account, adding herself as an authorized user. She also is charged with opening another account and using credit-line checks to get cash. And then she allegedly used the lawyer’s personal bank account, for which she also had access, to pay off the bills as they came into the office. The estimated total loss: $145,000. The Daily Progress has the report.

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