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Wheaton attorney charged with stealing $2M from estates of dead clients

A west suburban attorney stole more than $2 million from the estates of dead former clients, and from trusts set up for the heirs of those clients, prosecutors claim.

DuPage County Judge Timothy McJoynt on Wednesday set bond at $250,000 for Robert Beck, 48, of Wheaton, who is charged with one Class X felony count of theft over $1 million, according to the DuPage County state’s attorney’s office.

“The alleged abuse of the trust placed in Mr. Beck by his clients is extremely disheartening,” state’s attorney Robert Berlin said in a statement. “What I find particularly disturbing about this case is that Mr. Beck allegedly stole from the heirs of his deceased clients. Thankfully, his alleged scheme was uncovered.”

Prosecutors claim that from July 2011 through at least January 2015, Beck bilked trusts for the estates of four deceased former clients, and at least three current clients, out of nearly $1 million, stealing money from a trust for the estate and using it for personal and business expenses.

“Beck would then steal money from another client’s trust for the estate and use that money to pay back the estate of his previous victims,” a statement from prosecutors said. He also “shifted approximately $1.26 million between the trusts using one to pay the heirs of another to cover up the thefts.”

The scheme was uncovered when a bank investigator became suspicious and contacted authorities.

Beck, of the 0-100 block of West Embden in Wheaton, faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted, prosecutors said.