Podiatrist/Attorney Did Not Put His Best Foot Forward: Multiple Professions Can Mean Multiple Problems
Thursday, July 23, 2015
By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law and Shelby Root
Thomas Philpot, a former Lake County Clerk of Court in Indiana, was sentenced to 18 months in prison in 2013 for theft and mail fraud. Philpot's conviction was the result of his alleged theft of federal funds to pay himself bonuses in connection with the work he performed. The federal funds that were allegedly stolen were funds that were under his control as county clerk. Mr. Philpot, a multi-talented person, was both a podiatrist and an attorney.
Conviction of Theft and Fraud.
Mr. Philpot, who had been elected as the County Clerk, had also served for ten years as Lake County's coroner and six years as the county clerk. In 2013, he was convicted of theft and mail fraud for his alleged theft of federal funds to pay himself bonuses during his time as county clerk. The federal funds were stolen from the public child support incentive funds, over which he had control. The federal prosecutor argued that Philpot began making plans within months of taking control of the funds.
In 2013, due to his convictions, Philpot was sentenced to 18 months in prison. After he serves his sentence, his attorney's license will be suspended for at least four years, and he must petition for reinstatement after the term. The Indiana Supreme Court found in aggravation that Philpot betrayed the public's trust and violated not only his oath of office but also the oath of attorneys.
Violation of State Law.
To receive a bonus, a clerk must gain approval from the seven members of the County Council. A lack of approval is a violation of state law. Philpot attempted to get approval during 2008, but eventually withdrew the request after his motives were questioned.
Senior U.S. District Court Judge James Moody stated that he did not understand why Philpot, an intelligent and well-trained man who is familiar with the workings of the local government would commit this crime. He stated that the evidence pointed to "arrogance, greed and a warped sense of entitlement."
What are your thoughts on the court's sentence and suspension? Please leave any thoughtful comments below.
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If you have been arrested, it is strongly recommended that you retain an experienced attorney who can advise you on the criminal proceeding, your rights and how it may affect you. Most important to a physician, dentist, nurse, pharmacist or other health professional are what consequences may follow this. Consequences may include loss or suspension of hospital privileges, loss or suspension of your professional license, exclusion from the Medicare Program, termination from the state Medicaid Program, termination from health care insurance panels and other severe consequences.
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Dolan, Bill. "Philpot sentenced to 18 months for public corruption." NWI. (Feb. 21, 2013). From:
Legal Profession Prof. "Podiatrist - Attorney Gets the Boot." Legal Profession Blog. (May 19, 2015). From:
About the Authors: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620. Shelby Root is a summer associate at The Health Law Firm. She is a student at Barry University College of Law in Orlando.
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