October 2, 2020
The Harris County District Attorney’s Office is seeking the public’s help in identifying more possible victims of a former attorney who allegedly stole from a client, District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Friday.
David A. Chaumette, who lost his law license in 2016 after 23 years of practice, was indicted earlier this week for first-degree theft and misapplication of fiduciary property, accused of stealing more than $500,000 from a client. If convicted, he faces the possibility of five years to life in prison.
“Lawyers who steal from clients give all lawyers and people in position of trust a bad name,” Ogg said. “We are going to hold people accountable. There will be no more double standards.”
Chaumette was charged with misappropriating money that a client had deposited in a trust account. The alleged theft took place from March 2015 to August 2016.
“When a person hires an attorney, you put your trust and faith in them, expecting that they will do the right thing in your best interest,” said Cara Burton, a chief prosecutor in the financial crimes division of the district attorney’s office. “As a client, you’d never expect that they would violate that trust and steal from you.”
Public records show that Chaumette was disbarred on Sept. 7, 2016. The Texas State Bar found that he had engaged in “conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation” involving two other former clients. He was ordered to make restitution to both clients, including $28,000 owed to one and $38,000 owed to another.