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Indy attorney gets 6 years for estate theft

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An Indianapolis attorney who faced felony charges for stealing more than $270,000 from an estate he managed pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six years, the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office announced Tuesday.

David Rees, 73, pleaded guilty as charged to one count of Class C felony theft and one count of Class D felony obstruction of justice. The prosecutor’s office brought the charges in March. Rees agreed to plead guilty at that time.

Rees drafted the will and was executor for his client Benjamin Roberts. Eight years after Roberts’ death, nearly $400,000 was missing from the estate, according to the probable cause affidavit. Rees acknowledged diverting nearly $271,000 to his personal account.

He will serve four years on home detention, followed by two years of probation. He faced a maximum sentence of eight years.

The obstruction of justice charge stems from a fraudulent final accounting filing in the estate, which indicated the missing money was still in the estate.

“Mr. Rees abused the position of trust he was given by the Roberts family, stealing from the very account he was obligated to protect,” Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said. “As attorneys, we are bound by our oath to support the rule of law in every respect. We will accordingly vigorously prosecute those attorneys who have not only failed to uphold that standard, but have engaged in criminal conduct.”

Rees also must pay $270,000 in restitution.

Rees, who was admitted to practice in 1965, resigned from the bar in January.

 

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  1. File under the Sociology of Hoosier Discipline ... “We will be answering the complaint in due course and defending against the commission’s allegations,” said Indianapolis attorney Don Lundberg, who’s representing Hudson in her disciplinary case. FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT KNOW ... Lundberg ran the statist attorney disciplinary machinery in Indy for decades, and is now the "go to guy" for those who can afford him .... the ultimate insider for the well-to-do and/or connected who find themselves in the crosshairs. It would appear that this former prosecutor knows how the game is played in Circle City ... and is sacrificing accordingly. See more on that here ... http://www.theindianalawyer.com/supreme-court-reprimands-attorney-for-falsifying-hours-worked/PARAMS/article/43757 Legal sociologists could have a field day here ... I wonder why such things are never studied? Is a sacrifice to the well connected former regulators a de facto bribe? Such questions, if probed, could bring about a more just world, a more equal playing field, less Stalinist governance. All of the things that our preambles tell us to value could be advanced if only sunshine reached into such dark worlds. As a great jurist once wrote: "Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman." Other People's Money—and How Bankers Use It (1914). Ah, but I am certifiable, according to the Indiana authorities, according to the ISC it can be read, for believing such trite things and for advancing such unwanted thoughts. As a great albeit fictional and broken resistance leaders once wrote: "I am the dead." Winston Smith Let us all be dead to the idea of maintaining a patently unjust legal order.

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  3. Do you know who the sponsor of the last-minute amendment was?

  4. Law firms of over 50 don't deliver good value, thats what this survey really tells you. Anybody that has seen what they bill for compared to what they deliver knows that already, however.

  5. As one of the many consumers affected by this breach, I found my bank data had been lifted and used to buy over $200 of various merchandise in New York. I did a pretty good job of tracing the purchases to stores around a college campus just from the info on my bank statement. Hm. Mr. Hill, I would like my $200 back! It doesn't belong to the state, in my opinion. Give it back to the consumers affected. I had to freeze my credit and take out data protection, order a new debit card and wait until it arrived. I deserve something for my trouble!

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