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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. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

  2. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  3. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  5. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

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