Lawyer gets 17 to 34 years for stealing from special-needs clients

Jim Melwert
April 19, 2019 - 3:32 pm
Patrick Bradley

Montgomery County District Attorney's Office

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NORRISTOWN, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — A lawyer from Collegeville who pleaded guilty to stealing from trust funds set up for people with special needs has been sentenced.

The 17- to 34-year prison sentence for Patrick Bradley represents one year for each of his 17 victims, according to prosecutor Kelli McGinnis.

"Victims who are wheelchair-bound or have mental and physical disabilities, they were all victimized by the defendant without a second thought," she said. "They were like an ATM for him to use."

He pleaded guilty to 80 counts, ranging from theft to unauthorized practice of law, as he continued to act as a lawyer after his law license was suspended.

"He also took money from several of the victims' special needs trusts, and he, in most cases, all but drained them," McGinnis added.

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In all, McGinnis said Bradley stole in excess of $167,000, which he used on movies, dinners, sporting goods and his mortgage.

McGinnis said she asked for the 17- to 34-year sentence as a reminder that similar conduct from attorneys will not be tolerated.

"It’s completely unacceptable for an attorney to abuse the trust of their client when you’re talking about some of the most vulnerable people in Pennsylvania," she added.