November 19, 2005

Ex-attorney who lied about abuse gets prison term

The Seattle Times

By The Associated Press

PORTLAND A disbarred Virginia lawyer has been sentenced to 37 months in prison after he falsely claimed to have been abused by a now-deceased Catholic priest.

Thomas E. Smolka, 57, attempted to defraud the Portland Archdiocese by claiming he had been abused as a child by the late Rev. Maurice Grammond in Oregon.

Grammond is accused of abusing more than 50 children in several Oregon parishes and is a focal point of lawsuits filed against the Catholic church.

Smolka, a former Virginia Beach lawyer, fled his home state after pleading guilty in Richmond to federal charges for having defrauded 17 clients out of at least $110,000 by taking retainers but failing to deliver legal services.

Posted by kshaw at November 19, 2005 07:52 AM