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COA upholds attorney's 11-year sentence

January 11, 2012

The Roanoke attorney who stole more than $200,000 from his clients will not have his sentence reduced, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided Wednesday.

Daniel E. Serban asked the appellate court to find his 11-year sentence – with half the time to be served on probation – to be inappropriate. For a 36-month period, Serban mishandled the funds of more than 100 clients and stole $283,000. He was charged with Class C felony corrupt business influence, Class C felony theft, Class C felony forgery and Class D felony theft. He pleaded guilty only to the corrupt business influence and Class D felony theft charges.

He received the maximum sentence allowed for each count, but the trial court suspended half his sentence to probation, with the remainder to be served in prison.

“Here, Serban not only victimized those individuals who had placed their trust in him, but also degraded the legal profession – a profession that people reach out to for guidance during some of the most vulnerable and distressing times of their lives. In short, we cannot say that the nature of Serban’s offenses assists him in his inappropriateness argument,” wrote Judge John Baker in Daniel E. Serban v. State of Indiana, No. 02A03-1106-CR-285.

 

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