Arkansas Lawyer Surrenders Law License After Guilty Plea to Ponzi Scheme

An Arkansas man who authorities say perpetrated the largest financial fraud in Arkansas history has surrendered his license to practice law after pleading guilty to orchestrating the scheme.  Kevin Lewis, 43, tendered the surrender of his law license after pleading guilty last month to one count of bank fraud.  As previously covered by Ponzitracker, losses to investors are estimated to exceed $40 million.

Lewis's scheme entailed the issuance of paperwork for false rural improvement bonds to several Arkansas banks.  The bonds were then used by Lewis as collateral to receive financing from banks.  At least one bank involved in the fraud was forced into federal receivership after having purchased nearly $23 million of the fake bonds.  Lewis had obtained majority ownership of the bank through the use of fraudulent proceeds of a previous bond sale to another bank.  Instead of developing the property described in the bonds, Lewis used the financing for personal and business expenses. 

Lewis is one of several lawyers who in recent weeks have faced disciplinary proceedings including disbarment for their role in Ponzi schemes.  This includes Michael McNerney, the lead lawyer for Mutual Benefits Corp., later accused of being a Ponzi scheme, and Howard Kusnick, who pled guilty to his role in Scott Rothstein's $1.2 billion south Florida Ponzi scheme.