A Wisconsin lawyer pleads guilty to taking $30,000 from a client to use for bribes

A Wisconsin attorney pled guilty last week to wire fraud, after telling a client serving federal jail time that he could get his sentence reduced by bribing the prosecutor, probation officer and judge.

Attorney Mark A. Ruppelt, told the client he could get results because he was “willing to do things other lawyers are not.”

He ended up taking $30,000 from the inmate’s parents for his work but apparently never actually paid any bribes on the inmate’s behalf.

The inmate secretly recorded phone conversations he had with Ruppelt from a federal prison in Colorado, on which Ruppelt reminds him not to put anything in writing or be explicit that the money his parents sent was for bribes, instead referring to the checks as his retainer.

By November 2015, with no movement happening in the inmate’s case, Ruppelt blamed the delay on Hillary Clinton’s troubles with blowback from the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Libya, which, he said, made all federal officials more cautious.

“I don’t see what the presidential candidate has to do with me,” the client replied.

After pleading guilty, Ruppelt now faces up to 20 years in prison.

You can read more details about the case here.