The case: In 2005, Frank Picl was a well-known defense attorney. That changed on March 15, 2005, when he was charged with bilking an elderly client out of more than $278,000 and leaving her to die penniless months later in a nursing home.
It was shocking; Picl was highly respected in the legal community. He eventually pleaded to theft and financial exploitation of the elderly. Month after month, he had withdrawn money from the woman’s accounts or closed her certificates of deposit. He obtained cashier’s checks ranging from $1,000 to $50,000. The money largely went to fuel a gambling addiction.
He was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Picl has since been released after receiving day-for-day “good-time” credit.
Lyons’ thoughts: I was visiting my mother one night at Independence Village when I stepped onto the elevator with the facility manager, who said, ‘Hey, can I ask you a question?’
He told me about a small bounced rent check from my mother’s 85-year-old early Alzheimer’s neighbor. At first, I was like ‘OK, what does this have to do with me?’ Then the man said, “No one here bounces checks.”
The manager went on to say that the woman’s lawyer, a nice man, had later paid the bill but that another check had later bounced. I asked what the lawyer’s name was, and he said, “Frank Picl.”
My ears perked up. I shook my head.
I knew then I would be arresting my friend of 25 years whom I had long described as “the lawyer I would hire if I was charged with murder.”
The rest is history.
Lyons: Frank Picl, Attorney Turned Defendant