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Charleston Attorney Defrauds Clients

A Charleston attorney has been charged with tax evasion Wednesday along with mixing up his client's money with his own. This federal charge against Harold S. Albertson mirrors ethics charges filed against him earlier this month by the State Bar's Office of Disciplinary Counsel.

Prosecutors say Albertson tried to avoid paying $102,410 of income tax between 2003 through 2010. It is believed that Albertson is cooperating with the investigation. According to the charge, Albertson used one bank account to keep his personal funds along with his client's funds, with which he paid his personal expenses and failed to maintain any records in order to keep the expenses separate.

Albertson made deposits ranging from $949,000 to $1.6 million from 2008 to 2010. He would then withdraw the money and keep the account at its minimum balance. According to prosecutors, Albertson conducted his business in cash and kept no records in an attempt to make it impossible to identify his assets and collect money owed by him.

Among Albertson's victims was Linda Sloan Cross, who filed a complaint against Albertson claiming he pocketed money that was supposed to be placed in a trust for her brother. "He never put the check into the trust," Cross told the Gazette on Wednesday. She's still trying to get her money back. Albertson filed for bankruptcy in September.

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