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Attorney Accused Of Luring Clients Into Polygamous Lifestyle Has Drug Use In Past

DENVER (CBS4)- A high-profile DUI attorney, recently accused of luring his clients into a polygamist lifestyle, has been previously sued and suspended for similar claims.

Charles Fife has admitted to both illegal drug use and mishandling trust accounts. He had his license suspended for nine months but only served two.

Fife is facing recent accusations of videotaping himself having sex with dozens of women, including his clients, or trading services for sex.

Jay Reinan, an attorney representing one victim, filed a lawsuit in October, claiming Fife targeted desperate women and used his belief in polygamy to explain his affairs. He allegedly told his victims it was "commanded by God."

"He has all the cards, he has all the money, he has the ability to keep her out of jail. He has the ability to stop representing her if she withholds sex from him so it's not fair," said Reinan.

The victim is claiming sexual exploitation and that because of Fife's position as an attorney, could not give consent.

In 2004, Fife faced a similar lawsuit filed by his former business partner who accused Fife of abusing drugs and sleeping with clients.

Jim Coyle with the State Attorney Regulation Counsel says they were investigating similar claims.

"He had on several occasions used methamphetamine and then he had also violated rules when it comes to handling client money and trust accounts," said Coyle.

Fife was given a nine-month suspension for the drug use and mishandling of money but the disciplinary paperwork makes no mention of the alleged relationships.

Coyle cannot confirm if the state is once again investigating Fife but did speak generally about the accusations and says they could result in an attorney being disbarred.

"If a lawyer is sleeping with a client we would want to know about that. That violates a very basic duty that the lawyer has to clients and to society. A lawyer has to give conflict-free representation to the client," said Coyle.

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