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Attorney indicted over cash

A former federal, state and county prosecutor was indicted by a federal grand jury and accused of not reporting cash deposits over 16 days totaling more than $100,000.

Veteran attorney Paul Wommer is charged with 14 counts of structuring financial transactions in depositing $9,500 in cash about a dozen times in three separate Nevada State Bank accounts in June and July.

Wommer is accused of not reporting the deposits to the Internal Revenue Service, as required for cash transactions of $10,000 or more to combat money laundering for illegal activities, the IRS said.

The indictment filed Tuesday indicates Wommer deposited $129,200 between June 30 and July 15.

If convicted, Wommer could face up to 10 years in prison and a $500,000 fine for each count.

Wommer was summoned to appear Dec. 23 for an arraignment before U.S. Magistrate Judge Peggy Leen.

Attempts to reach Wommer were unsuccessful Wednesday. A spokeswoman for the Nevada U.S. attorney’s office declined comment.

The indictment does not state how Wommer came into the cash. Wommer, a longtime Nevada attorney, recently was employed as a state attorney general’s office prosecutor for five months, leaving that job May 5.

A spokeswoman for the state attorney general’s office said she could not discuss his departure because it was a personnel matter.

Wommer worked as an assistant U.S. attorney and Clark County deputy prosecutor before leaving to enter private practice as a defense attorney in the 1980s.

As a defense attorney, Wommer developed a reputation for being unavailable to his clients and for being confrontational when he did see them. One client assaulted him in 2005.

In 2007, repeated client complaints against Wommer were featured in a Review-Journal series that highlighted problems with a system for assigning private attorneys to many indigent defendants.

According to the reports, Wommer threatened clients, saying he would help prosecutors if they did not plead guilty.

Contact reporter Francis McCabe at fmccabe@
reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039.

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