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Fund pays $6.9 million statewide to victims of dishonest lawyers

Clients of three Western New York lawyers received $133,101 in 2018 from a lawyers' fund created to reimburse victims of dishonest lawyers.

In all, the New York Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection last year paid $6.9 million to 164 people statewide, according to the fund's annual report. About 2 percent of the reimbursements went to the clients of the three Western New York lawyers. The fund reimbursed $2.9 million to clients in Manhattan, $1.3 million on Long Island and $1.2 million in Westchester County and its nearby counties.

The fund paid $82,250 to a client of James A. MacCallum, a Bemus Point lawyer who was imprisoned and ordered to pay $2 million in restitution to victims of an investment scam he devised.

Two clients of Kevin R. Allen, an Albion attorney, received $44,851 from the fund. Allen was ordered to pay nearly $50,000 in restitution for using some clients’ funds to pay money owed to other clients.

The fund reimbursed $1,000 to a client of Edward R. Thiel of Lockport, who was convicted of taking $63,684 owed to four clients.

The 64 lawyers across the state whose clients were reimbursed are either suspended, disbarred or dead.

The fund is financed through attorney registration fees charged to the state's more than 300,000 lawyers.

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