ROMNEY, W.Va. — Suspended Lawyer and Ex-County Commissioner Donald Paul Cookman has now been charged with three counts of embezzlement and four counts of forgery in West Virginia. The charging papers describe what is alleged to be a snowballing disaster for a lawyer in severe financial distress. This includes forging the signature of Mineral County Circuit Court Judge Andrew Frye and taking money given to him by Cheri Beverage. Ok, the puns were irresistible.
Cookman is charged with embezzling funds. He is also accused of forging a variety of signatures, including most notably Frye’s. He is accused of Frye’s signature on fake judgments awarding his clients $1.1 million. It is entirely unclear how he thought he would get away with such an alleged crime.
Cookman allegedly converted $151,199.86 given to him by Cheri Beverage who was acting as power-of-attorney for Marion D. Herriott — ironicallyn the account was from a settlement in an investment scam.
Cookman has agreed to surrender his license.
Marion D. Herriott. In the latter case, ODC alleged that Cookman “improperly and illegally” converted $151,199.86 belonging to Herriott that she entrusted to Cookman via her power-of-attorney, Cheri Beverage, from the settlement in an investment scam.
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