Jonathan McKee pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of felony mail fraud and to embezzling more than $400,000, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
McKee, 53, who lives in the 1000 block of Dougherty Lake Estates Drive, was a St. Louis County attorney who represented people with injury and other negligence claims in which he would enter into a contingent fee arrangement, according to court documents. McKee would receive a percentage of any successful settlement.
When he won the cases, the insurance company would mail a check to McKee payable to him and his client, the court documents state. The check would then deposited into McKee's bank account, and he would distribute the money to the client, pay medical and other expenses and keep the remainder as his fee.
But several times between 2007 and 2011, McKee kept the entire check when some of the money should have gone to the client, according to court documents. About 10 clients were affected.
He will be sentenced on June 25. Mail fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000.