CHARLESTON - A Kanawha County law firm has filed a suit against former partners, seeking compensation for fraud the partners allegedly committed.

Francis, Nelson & Brison, formerly known as Schumacher, Francis & Nelson, filed a suit June 30 in Kanawha Circuit Court against David and Pat Schumacher.

David Schumacher is a former member of the law firm, and Pat Schumacher is his wife and was the office manager of the firm.

According to the suit, on June 28, 2007, certain members of the firm gained access to information that exposed inappropriate conduct by the Schumachers.

The conduct included failing to repay the firm for personal purchases made through the use of an American Express card issued to various firm members, as well as the misrepresentation of Pat Schumacher's salary.

In the three-count suit, Francis, Nelson & Brison claim Pat Schumacher was grossly overpaid, and together the Schumachers intentionally failed to repay the firm for personal items unrelated to the firm's business. The misappropriation of funds resulted in a loss of income to Dave Nelson, R. Ford Francis and Andrew Brison.

The firm seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

Attorney Paul M. Stroebel is representing Francis, Nelson & Brison. The case has been assigned to Judge Irene Berger.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 08-C-1282

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