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Qld court freezes criminal lawyer's assets

AAP logoAAP 7/09/2016 Alexandra Patrikios

A prominent Queensland lawyer has had some of his assets frozen following allegations he and his clerk were sacked after siphoning more than $160,000 in funds from their firm.

Tim Meehan, who represented Daniel Morcombe's murderer Brett Peter Cowan, is accused of having his law clerk, Xanthe Larcombe-Weate, help him put clients' money into his own bank accounts.

The allegations are detailed in court documents that were filed by Bosscher Lawyers in an urgent bid to freeze the assets of Mr Meehan and his wife, which include a Pullenvale property and cars.

The documents claim $164,000 was deposited in cash into bank accounts known to be associated with Mr Meehan over the last financial year, while $11,000 was allegedly put into accounts for Ms Larcombe-Weate during the same period.

In an affidavit, firm boss Michael Bosscher said Mr Meehan was employed by the practice from late November 2011.

But he and Ms Larcombe-Weate were sacked last month following revelations there had been "ongoing theft" by Mr Meehan, aided by the young woman, upon the completion of an internal investigation.

"During the meeting in which (Mr Meehan) was presented with these allegations, and in which I provided him with a copy of my findings, he admitted to stealing from the practice," the affidavit reads.

The internal documents describe the scale of the theft as "significant and easily traceable".

"If I were appearing on behalf of either at a sentence I would submit that 'the theft was blatant, unsophisticated and was always going to be discovered'."

The firm's investigation showed clients didn't seem to be affected as funds had been provided for work performed and not future work.

Mr Bosscher appeared in the Brisbane Supreme Court on Wednesday, when Justice David Boddice granted the order.

"I am satisfied that there is a basis to infer that if steps were not taken ... there is a danger that there would not be available assets to meet any judgment given by this court," Justice Boddice said.

The matter will return to court on September 16.

A Queensland Police spokesman said neither Mr Meehan nor Ms Larcombe-Weate, who did not appear in court on Wednesday, had been referred to police.

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