Eureka, Kan. - When Roger and Marcia Altis’ family business didn’t quite work out as planned — especially after Roger’s first heart attack — they decided to file for bankruptcy.
Medical and other bills had piled up.
The Internal Revenue Service came calling, demanding tax money.
So the Eureka couple hired a Wichita attorney who they thought would help shepherd them through the financial mess.
Instead, that attorney, Christopher O’Brien, made it worse — by stealing money meant to pay down the Altises’ debt.
O’Brien, 69, last month pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement in the case — and agreed to pay nearly three-quarters of a million dollars in restitution to the Altises and two other clients who accused him of thievery.
He’s set for sentencing at the federal courthouse in Wichita on June 3, according to court records.
What’s already been a horrible ordeal for the Altises has taken another difficult turn.
The couple is now at risk of losing their home over unpaid property tax they thought the estate would handle, the Wichita Eagle reported.
In March, they received notice that they had only a short period of time to come up with more than $24,000 to pay to Greenwood County — or what’s left of their land, where their house and garden sit, will be sold to the highest bidder at a sheriff’s auction.