According to a press release from the FBI, Brian Nehrig, a Fishers Indiana attorney, violated the solemn attorney client privilege between himself and his client. He used confidential information to make money at the client’s expense. He pled guilty to mail fraud and received a light sentence.
Nehrig is a foreclosure attorney representing CitiFinancial in their foreclosures. Nehrig took advantage of inside information, specifically the bid price Citifinancial was prepared to bid at foreclosure. Nehrig arranged for associates to buy properties at super low prices and then put them back onto the market to make a profit. Even though the profits were small, a few thousand per deal, Nehrig had the obligation to see to it the client made the money, not Nehrig. If the disgraced attorney needed to make more money he should have raised his rates."Nehrig took advantage of inside information"
The foreclosure and real estate investment strategy is simple and popular. Buy at foreclosure sale, fix up if needed, then sell for a profit. The problem is, one cannot use inside information at the cost of the client in the process. That is why most attorneys are closed mouthed about the lender’s bid. It is the lawyer’s job to get the most bang for the buck for the bank, not to use confidential information for their selfish greed.
The attorney client privilege is a confidential arrangement between the client and the attorney. The lawyer has the obligation to keep all confidential communication to himself. He also has the obligation to advocate for the client, which means help him make the best of the client’s situation. In the case of Citi Financial, Nehrig’s obligation was to maximize the bank’s profits. Nehrig in counter intelligence blog
The court determined the loss to CitiFinancial was $66,000 bucks. An insurance claim has made the bank whole. It is unknown whether the insurance company will seek repayment for their loss through subrogation.
Nehrig got off with a light sentence. He was ordered to do six months of in-home confinement and 8 hours of community service each month. He is also on 3 years probation. During his probationary period he may not work as a self employed person. Judge Sarah Barker ordered Nehrig to disclose his felony conviction to all employers he works for. The fine was small, only $2,500 dollars. Why Assistant U.S. Attorney Gayle Helart, who prosecuted the case against Nehrig, went along with such an easy deal for Nehrig is unknown. Thanks to the FBI for investigating. FBI annonces guilty plea for disbarred attorney brian nehrig, breach of attorney client priviledge