State bar tells lawyer it means business

A former attorney at Marks & Harrison has been disbarred after it was discovered she was funneling money from the firm to herself.

Kyle Cornelia Leftwich was disbarred Sept. 15, according to a document from the Virginia State Bar, after it was discovered that she had diverted an unknown amount of money from the firm to herself over a period of seven years.

Leftwich worked on Social Security disability claims during her nearly 16 years at Marks & Harrision. According to the state bar document, whenever she successfully concluded a claim, the Social Security Administration would cut a check to the client and to Leftwich for legal fees. But as part of her contract, those checks were supposed to go through the firm even though they were in her name.

But in 2003, Leftwich started funneling the checks directly to her personal bank account, according to the bar. The firm figured out what was going on this year and conducted an investigation. Leftwich admitted to everything and paid the firm $450,000 to settle the issue. An exact amount of how much she diverted to herself could not be determined.

James Harrison, the firm’s president, did not return email or phone messages by press time. Nor did he return calls a month ago when BizSense started pursuing this story.

Leftwich and the firm appear to have handled the situation quietly without any criminal or civil charges filed. There were no cases on record in Henrico County Circuit Court on the matter.

According to the bar document, Leftwich submitted an affidavit admitting that the claims of misconduct are true and declaring her consent to have her law license in Virginia revoked.

An archived version of the Marks & Harrision website has a bit more info about Leftwich, listed then as Kyle Leftwich Banning. It shows that she attended the University of Virginia as an undergraduate and received her law degree from the University of Richmond. You can see her archived bio page here.

A former attorney at Marks & Harrison has been disbarred after it was discovered she was funneling money from the firm to herself.

Kyle Cornelia Leftwich was disbarred Sept. 15, according to a document from the Virginia State Bar, after it was discovered that she had diverted an unknown amount of money from the firm to herself over a period of seven years.

Leftwich worked on Social Security disability claims during her nearly 16 years at Marks & Harrision. According to the state bar document, whenever she successfully concluded a claim, the Social Security Administration would cut a check to the client and to Leftwich for legal fees. But as part of her contract, those checks were supposed to go through the firm even though they were in her name.

But in 2003, Leftwich started funneling the checks directly to her personal bank account, according to the bar. The firm figured out what was going on this year and conducted an investigation. Leftwich admitted to everything and paid the firm $450,000 to settle the issue. An exact amount of how much she diverted to herself could not be determined.

James Harrison, the firm’s president, did not return email or phone messages by press time. Nor did he return calls a month ago when BizSense started pursuing this story.

Leftwich and the firm appear to have handled the situation quietly without any criminal or civil charges filed. There were no cases on record in Henrico County Circuit Court on the matter.

According to the bar document, Leftwich submitted an affidavit admitting that the claims of misconduct are true and declaring her consent to have her law license in Virginia revoked.

An archived version of the Marks & Harrision website has a bit more info about Leftwich, listed then as Kyle Leftwich Banning. It shows that she attended the University of Virginia as an undergraduate and received her law degree from the University of Richmond. You can see her archived bio page here.

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Cindy
Cindy
11 years ago

M&H doesn’t want clients to wonder if she’s taken any of their money while it was in escrow.

Casey Quinlan
Casey Quinlan
11 years ago

Seems that temptation got the better of her – I’m surprised that it took M&H 6+ years to figure out what was going on.

The tort bar handles a googleplex of cash daily, which means that there’s no way Ms. Leftwich was a one-off. Rock solid ethics is a not-always-present attribute in all enterprise…

I’m sorry that LINC won’t be able to tap her as a legal resource any longer. Looks like she did some good work for their clients.

Andrew Miller
Andrew Miller
11 years ago

This is the best headline I’ve seen in a long time. You’re just missing the gong.

Libbie
Libbie
11 years ago

What a shame… she has young kids. As I learned in business law class years ago… don’t do anything you wouldn’t want your family to read about in the paper.

Robert McMillian
Robert McMillian
11 years ago

Escrow accounts are not accessible…Accounting practices vary from firm to firm. If the checks were coming in her name, she was probably just pocketing them. I dont thin MH clients have anything to worry about. They have a very good reputation and even Ms. Leftwich helped people from what I understand. I think more should be said by the firm about what happened, but if they settled it then we may not get much more than a “no comment”.

m.lily
m.lily
10 years ago

I know Ms. Leftwich as someone who has given her time and heart as a volunteer helping the vulnerable. I am sad to see this, but it is only one part of what she has done, not all.

B Kaufman
B Kaufman
10 years ago

Regardless of whether she helped people or not, she’s a crook. A thief. She lost her law license and she’s facing a maximum of 160 years in the big house if convicted on all counts. She brought shame upon herself, and she wasn’t thinking of her kids. She was thinking of one person – Kyle Leftwich. She’ll have plenty of time to reflect on her decision to steal and how her selfishness has cost her and her family.