When I first heard about Mary Nolan, a divorce attorney from Oakland California, I thought perhaps she was simply an overzealous and misguided advocate who got caught up in the emotional maelstrom of her high-conflict divorce practice, perhaps misled by a dirty cop on-the-take.
At the time, maintaining her innocence, she seemed to be a bit-player in scenarios set up by now-disgraced private investigator Chris Butler, situations referred to in the press as “Dirty DUI’s”.
One of Mr. Butler’s “games” was to “set-up” husbands going through a divorce, by instructing his attractive female operatives to entice them to a bar, and after too many drinks and a little dirty dancing, plant a friendly cop a mile from the drinking establishment waiting to bust the unsuspecting dupes.
On at least two occasions, Ms. Nolan just happened to be acting for their wives and lo and behold, the resulting criminal convictions for drunk driving were a serious problem for them in their custody and access claims.
This week Ms. Nolan plead guilty to tax evasion and hiring Mr. Butler to plant listening devices in the automobiles of her clients’ spouses. Butler, who was earlier sentenced to eight years in prison for a myriad of criminal offences, including drug trafficking, testified that Ms. Nolan’s clients paid him for the scam DUI’s but Nolan managed to escape the consequences of her participation in these activities.
Butler also admitted to planting eavesdropping devices inside “hundreds” of cars for clients.
But it is likely Mary Nolan’s evasion of tax will see her spending time in prison. In multiple years she filed tax returns indicating annual income between $20,000 and $50,000 when she actually earned hundreds of thousands of dollars every year, resulting in a tax bill to the IRS of $1.8 million dollars.
She and Butler also face civil suits brought by husbands of Ms. Nolan’s clients, who suffered significantly after their arrests and convictions. Luckily for them, a higher court quashed their convictions after hearing of the dirty dealings between local police, P.I. Butler and attorney Nolan.
She faces a maximum of 15 years in prison and a $750,000 fine.