Embattled Louisville attorney pleads not guilty to stealing clients’ settlement money

Former personal injury lawyer arraigned on dozens of felony charges

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - An embattled Louisville attorney faced a judge Monday to be arraigned on a 34-count felony indictment.

Andrew Clooney is accused of disappearing on his clients, but Monday in court, he had nowhere to hide.

Clooney was indicted May 30 after prosecutors said he swindled thousands of dollars from his own clients. They accuse Clooney, a former personal injury attorney, of settling cases without letting his clients know, forging their signatures, then pocketing the money.

One attorney suing Clooney on behalf of 14 people said his cases amount to more than $500,000 of missing funds. But there are more victims listed in the indictment.

Dawn Knight said she hired Clooney, but he stole her $40,000 settlement. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Dawn Knight said she hired Clooney, but he stole her $40,000 settlement. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

“I was in the back of my mind going, you need to look at me, you need to face me,” one of the alleged victims, Dawn Knight, told WAVE 3 News in court Monday.

Knight said she was taken for $40,000.

“I’ll probably never see my settlement money, but I do want to see him pay,” Knight said.

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Clooney’s wife, Christel Clooney, and another employee at his law office, Marlene Estrada, were also named in the indictment, which lists 34 counts of charges. They are all felonies.

Clooney and his co-defendants all entered not guilty pleas in court on Monday. The judge released the three on their own recognizance, meaning they don’t have a bond as long as they keep coming to court.

They are due back in court July 29.

The charges they face are related to theft and criminal possession of a forged instrument. There are 20 different alleged victims named in the indictment.

Clooney was the subject of a WAVE 3 News Troubleshooter investigation a couple of months ago. Not long after that, the Kentucky Bar Association confirmed the state’s Supreme Court had suspended Clooney’s license to practice law. The bar had received complaints about Clooney since 2017.

When WAVE 3 News visited his law office on Preston Highway, a maintenance crew said the business had closed. The office was empty and being repainted.

We reached out to Clooney's attorney for a response about the indictment and did not hear back.

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