Updated October 25, 2021 - 2:25 pm
A Las Vegas attorney has been charged with stealing $150,000 from a client, according to Las Vegas police records.
Scott Michael Cantor, 69, was booked at the Clark County Detention Center Oct. 14 on a single felony count of theft $100,000 or greater.
Las Vegas police wrote in an arrest warrant for Cantor that detectives were contacted in January by a male client of Cantor’s, requesting that police investigate the lawyer. The client, who’s name was blacked out in the warrant, said his deceased mother’s home had recently been sold, and that related probate proceedings were finalized in December 2020. The funds from the sale were deposited into Cantor’s client trust account, the client said, but Cantor never delivered the money to the client.
When the man started questioning Cantor as to why the money hadn’t been received, he told the client in a text “that he needed to audit his trust account.”
“After Mr. Cantor’s audit, he told (the client) that there was only $200 in his trust account,” police said. “Mr. Cantor told (the client) that he would make good on the funds, but never paid.”
Police said they obtained text conversations between the client and Cantor in which Cantor repeatedly made excuses for why the money hadn’t been transferred.
“Get on putting that money in my account,” the client texted Cantor.
“I’m on it today,” Cantor responded.
At one point Cantor told the man “I don’t understand how I am short. It shouldn’t be. Either way I have to make you whole. I’m on the line to see if I can secure any funds I’m short.”
Police said in the warrant that Cantor ultimately offered the client “mining contracts as a replacement for the money.”
Cantor, police said, at one point sent the client a picture showing the funds had been transferred from Cantor’s bank account, but when police went to check Cantor’s bank records, they “showed no record of $150,000.00 being transferred.”
Cantor did not respond to requests for comment made Monday by email and phone. His attorney, Ozzie Fumo, declined to comment.
State Bar of Nevada records indicate Cantor has been a member since 1978.
Bar spokesman Phil Pattee Monday that the organization is aware of Cantor’s arrest.
“The matter is under investigation,” he said. “It will be presented to a screening panel for the Southern Nevada Disciplinary Board (of the Bar.)”
Records from the legal profession’s governing organization indicate Cantor was the subject of a disciplinary complaint resolved in 2016.
In a Nevada Supreme Court order, the bar said a hearing panel previously found that Cantor had breached a mentoring agreement by “failing to implement an accounting system” at his law firm.
The panel recommended a stayed three-year suspension of Cantor’s law license, followed by one year of probation. Cantor was also ordered to perform an audit of a trust account at the firm and repay any monies owed.
The nature of the complaint filed against Cantor was not detailed in the order.
“Cantor must implement and use accounting and case management systems for the operation of his law practice,” the Supreme Court wrote in the order.
Court records did not immediately list a future court date for Cantor.