Utah attorney pleads guilty to federal charges, sentenced to 73 months in prison

Posted at 3:18 PM, Nov 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-17 00:19:37-05

SALT LAKE CITY — A Salt Lake City attorney was sentenced to 73 months in prison Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to federal charges of money laundering and wire fraud.

FOX 13 INVESTIGATES: SLC attorney confesses to embezzling millions from family of famous skier

Calvin Curtis confessed to stealing millions of dollars from at least 23 clients over the past 13 years, many of whom were severely disabled.

FOX 13 Investigates: Salt Lake City attorney accused of embezzling millions

A large portion of the stolen money belonged to Glenn McConkey, an elderly woman with Alzheimer's disease and dementia. McConkey is the mother of famous skier, Shane McConkey, who died in 2009.

FOX 13 Investigates first reported that McConkey hired Curtis to handle her estate after her son died while attempting a ski-BASE jump in Italy in 2009. Curtis advised McConkey to disinherit her 10-year-old granddaughter and name him as trustee.

McConkey is now in a memory unit, requiring 24/7 care for Alzheimer's disease.

An attorney and family friend said, at first, she thought Curtis might have simply mismanaged McConkey's money. But the family later learned that the funds were outright stolen.

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According to documents filed in United States District Court, Curtis "used proceeds to support a lavish lifestyle with frequent travel, to purchase tickets to basketball and football games, to give lavish gifts to others, and to support the operations of his law firm."

In October, Curtis was ordered to pay back $12,101,362.20 of stolen money to McConkey. However, his defense attorney says Curtis does not have enough money to pay back McConkey and other victims.

Kristine Velasquez, another of Curtis' clients, said she is being interviewed by FBI agents on Wednesday.

Velasquez was injured on March 11, 2010 in a train crash.

"I just have problems with my memory, and I don’t like thinking about it, but I am this amazing person and I thank God for every day I get," Velasquez said.

Years later, Velasquez received tens of thousands of dollars to pay for her injuries. She hired Curtis and named him as trustee, without realizing she could have named a family member instead.

She told FOX 13 that Curtis and his office staff spent years refusing to disclose financial information about her trust.

"'Can I see where my funds are being spent or how much you’re charging me?'" Velasquez recalled asking. "It was always, 'Oh, I’m on vacation. I’ll get it to you next week.'"

Kris Sanford, another client, has been paralyzed since being involved in a car crash in 2009.

He said he was disgusted with Curtis' behavior in the courtroom.

"I think he should have apologized or said something," Velasquez agreed. "

"He saw me in the hospital when I was barely able to move," Sanford said. "He’s the last person I would have expected to be dishonest."

Both Sanford and Velasquez said they are not sure if their cases are part of the federal government's 23 known victims. Neither of them knew Curtis had confessed to embezzling money until seeing the story on FOX 13.

Prosecutors have asked all suspected victims to contact the US Attorney's Office.