Canberra lawyer in court for alleged double dipping

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A 63-year-old Canberra lawyer is on trial after allegedly receiving thousands from Legal Aid while also being paid more by his client’s family.
 
Stephen Raymond Stubbs faces 15 charges of dishonestly obtaining property by deception after applying for and receiving $4,000 from Legal Aid ACT while also being paid more than $30,000 by his client’s mother, a report from The Canberra Times bares.
 
In 2008, Canberra man Alexander Duffy, then 19, was arrested and charged with assault and an act endangering life. The charges were then upgrade and replaced with conspiracy to commit murder. Out on bail in early 2009, Duffy was also charged with further assaults.
 
Anne Duffy, the mother of Stubbs’ client, told the court this week that the lawyer contacted her early on and explained there would be legal costs but that he was “doing the best by me … and would do me a favour by only billing me what Legal Aid would’ve paid him.”
 
By the woman’s understanding, Legal Aid, a service to help people who cannot afford legal representation, had not given a grant for his son’s trial.
 
The woman said that she had borrowed money, sold antiques and saved up to make up a $5,000 fee the lawyer had asked early on in the case, according to The Canberra Times. The two also allegedly discussed drawing on the woman’s mortgage to make payments.
 
Later on, the woman and the lawyer are said to have agreed to electronic funds transfers because they couldn’t meet since the woman was always busy at work.
 
“I just put all my trust in Mr Stubbs to do everything for my son,” the woman said in court.
 

Related stories:
Solicitor trio accused of fleecing £600K from UK Legal Aid
Law clerk in alleged $4.3m fraud to face court
 

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