Former Las Vegas Lawyer Gets Lengthy Prison Term

By Steve Kanigher

Published 09/10 2012 04:41PM

Updated 09/10 2012 04:44PM

LAS VEGAS --  A federal judge on Monday sentenced Lawrence Davidson to more than eight years in prison after the former Las Vegas lawyer was convicted of stealing personal injury settlements from clients and fleeing to Israel to avoid prosecution, Nevada's U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden said.

Davidson, 45, who pleaded guilty in May to a number of felony charges in three separate criminal cases, was sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge Roger Hunt to 105 months in prison and also ordered to pay $936,300 in restitution.

Davidson pleaded guilty to 20 counts of mail fraud and four counts of money laundering in one case. He pleaded guilty in a second case to making a false statement in an application for a passport, aggravated identity theft, and two counts of willfully failing to appear at court hearings. He also pleaded guilty in a third case to violating his supervised release by failing to notify the probation office of a change of address.

In 2004, Davidson used another person's identity to obtain a United States passport. In June 2005, Davidson was sentenced to six months in jail and three years of supervised release for forging a federal judge's signature in a federal bankruptcy case. In November 2005, Davidson was charged with mail fraud and money laundering for negotiating personal injury and medical malpractice settlements from May 2003 to September 2004 without the authorization of his clients, and using the settlement monies for his own personal benefit.

On Feb. 26, 2006, Davidson started his supervised release in the case involving his conviction for forging a federal judge's signature. But on Sept. 14, 2006, Davidson quit his job and fled to Israel to avoid prosecution on charges that he was stealing his clients' settlement money. Davidson failed to appear at a required federal court hearing in the fraud case on Oct. 25, 2006, and also failed to appear at trial on Oct. 30, 2006. According to Davidson's plea agreement, he defrauded at least 14 clients of more than $930,000.

The case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel  Schiess.

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