Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Charles County lawyer pleads guilty to fraud

A disbarred Charles County attorney pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt Friday to wire and mail fraud after he conned clients out of money he used for his personal expenses and provided clients with fake deeds.

Frank P. Jenkins II, who was disbarred by consent in Maryland in September 2009, faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for eight counts of fraud, according to a Monday news release from the office of U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.

All told, Jenkins admitted he was responsible for $1 million to $2.5 million in client and lender losses.

According to court documents, Jenkins, 45, had clients transfer money into bank accounts that he controlled. He used the money to cover his own expenses, including tickets for Washington Capitals hockey games, and to repay other clients from whom he had taken money in the past.

Jenkins also forged the signatures of his clients on court documents, conducted fraudulent real estate transactions and took out loans based on false information.

In one situation, Jenkins attempted to clean out the estate of a terminally ill client. When the woman died in July 2009, Jenkins directed one of her family members to transfer the nearly $900,000 the woman held in different bank accounts to the Jenkins Group Escrow at Chevy Chase Bank.

Over the next month, court documents show Jenkins opened six accounts at Chevy Chase Bank in his name, transferring all of the woman’s money into them. In September 2009, he told the family representative that he had taken $375,000 from the escrow and promised to repay it.

He provided the relative with a fake $375,000 deed of trust to a piece of property in St. Mary’s County on Sept. 8, 2009, which he claimed he had purchased with the estate funds. But Jenkins never filed the deed of trust and he actually had purchased the property before his client died.

The following day, the Charles County Sheriff’s office seized $582,000 from three of Jenkins’ accounts at Chevy Chase Bank. In July 2010, the victim’s estate was repaid $451,000.

In another situation, according to court documents, Jenkins misappropriated more than $1 million from a client’s estate and charged the family $47,000 in legal fees. Authorities also found five more cases of fraudulent activity involving Jenkins’ clients and real estate deals.