The former Salt Lake City attorney has been convicted of embezzling millions of vulnerable Utah clients

Calvin Curtis, 61, was also ordered to pay his victims nearly $12.8 million in compensation.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Probate attorney Calvin Curtis, who pleaded guilty to charges of wire fraud and money laundering in November, was sentenced to jail on Friday and ordered to pay his 26 victims more than $12.7 million in damages.

A federal judge on Friday sentenced former Salt Lake City attorney Calvin Curtis to more than eight years in prison after he pleaded guilty to embezzling millions of his vulnerable clients last November.

Curtis, who specializes in special needs trusts, has been accused of wire fraud and money laundering through his estate planning law firm, where he allegedly stole $12.7 million from 26 different clients, all of whom were elderly, disabled or disabled , prosecutors said.

After submitting his plea deal late last year, Curtis was released from custody in December ahead of a spring sentencing hearing, but was then arrested again in January after violating the terms of his release agreement.

Curtis began his fraud scheme in January 2008 when he transferred at least $9.5 million from a client’s escrow account — set aside for his administration — into his own, according to a Justice Department press release. He later fraudulently stole an additional $135,000 from that client, which he then used to remodel a home he owned in Tampa, Florida.

Curtis admitted that he had provided fake financial reports to the client’s court-appointed restorer to hide the fraud.

Curtis pleaded guilty to wire fraud, admitting that he also transferred $1,485,000 from a Schwab investment account to his own account in January 2018 and used the money to “support a lavish lifestyle with frequent travel.”

That lavish lifestyle included tickets to basketball and football games and making mortgage payments on his home and office on South Temple Street in Salt Lake City, prosecutors said.

Curtis first faced U.S. District Judge David Barlow in late April and expected to be sentenced to about six years in prison as part of his plea agreement. But Barlow threw out the sentencing proposal, arguing Curtis deserved a tougher sentence for his “cold-blooded, willful and repeated” fraud spanning 13 years.

The sentence Barlow imposed on Friday totaled 97 months, about two years longer than the sentence originally proposed.

Curtis was also ordered to pay his victims more than $12 million in compensation and was sentenced to three years of supervised imprisonment at the end of his sentence. The former Salt Lake City attorney has been convicted of embezzling millions of vulnerable Utah clients

Joel McCord

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