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Crystal Lake attorney pleads not guilty to theft charges

Legal troubles pile on as alleged victims file lawsuit

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013 1:14 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013 11:43 p.m. CDT

WOODSTOCK – A Crystal Lake attorney pleaded not guilty to charges that he embezzled more than $1 million from his clients.

Curt P. Rehberg, 49, of Cary, entered his not guilty plea Tuesday before McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather. In all, he’s charged with seven counts of felony theft.

Two of the charges against Rehberg are nonprobational Class 1 felonies that carry a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

The criminal complaint alleges that Rehberg took more than $1.2 million from eight clients. Prosecutors have said he was the executor of several trust fund accounts but never distributed the cash to beneficiaries.

Rehberg and his Crystal Lake-based law office, Curt P. Rehberg and Associates, are named in a pending civil lawsuit. Two alleged victims, Martin Ochwat and David Hanson, both are seeking damages totaling $644,120.

According to the lawsuit filed Nov. 5, Rehberg told his clients to liquidate their stocks and holdings into a no-interest-bearing client trust account, but in one case, he never dispersed the funds to the beneficiaries. In another instance, Rehberg wrote a check to one beneficiary, but the account was overdrawn by more than $3,000 when the check was cashed.

Rehberg was released following his October arrest after posting $10,000 at the Crystal Lake Police Department.

His next court date on the criminal matter is Dec. 26.

Rehberg also has a pending case before the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. The ARDC can disbar, suspend, censure or reprimand Rehberg based on the outcome of its investigation. The complaint says Rehberg used the money for business and personal expenses.

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