Lawyer who misappropriated $8M from clients to feed gambling addiction banned from law for 7 years

Russell Sean McDonough told Law Society of B.C. he is ‘full of remorse and shame’ for his actions


A Vancouver real estate lawyer who admitted to misappropriating more than $8 million from client trust funds to feed his gambling addiction has been banned from practising law for seven years.

Russell Sean McDonough signed a consent agreement with the Law Society of B.C. last week, admitting to professional misconduct in 34 instances of misappropriation over about 22 months, according to a summary posted online.

It says McDonough admitted he started taking the money from his clients beginning in 2021 after amassing a substantial amount of debt from gambling and exhausting all of his credit sources.

He said he would issue trust cheques to his personal law corporation and then gamble the funds, believing he’d have a “breakthrough” win that would cover both his debts and the trust fund shortfall.

Read more