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Lawyer sentenced for theft, corrupt business practice

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A northeast Indiana attorney who pleaded guilty to stealing from his clients has been sentenced to 11 years in prison, with five and one-half of those years suspended to active probation.

Daniel E. Serban pleaded guilty in April to one count of felony theft and one count of corrupt business practice in Allen Superior Court in April. The Roanoke attorney was charged in September with failing to distribute money that had been paid into his law office’s trust account totaling $283,000. The Indiana Supreme Court suspended him in March.

Tim McCaulay, deputy prosecutor with the Allen County Prosecutor’s Office, said Serban received eight years on the corrupt business practice charge and three years on the theft charge to be served consecutively. Half of that sentence will be served on probation.

In addition to the five and one-half years Serban will serve in prison, he’s also been ordered to pay the $283,000 in full as restitution. A hearing is set for Friday related to the restitution order.

McCaulay said at the May 13 sentencing hearing it was discovered that Serban had recently sold his interest in a real estate partnership, and his wife had $60,000 in checks written from Serban’s attorney’s trust account in her purse as she sat in the courtroom. Those checks were given to the bailiff, who gave them to Serban’s attorney, Don Swanson, to hold until the May 20 hearing.

That hearing is to determine whether that money can be used toward the restitution order. McCaulay said Serban could have his probation period reduced if he pays the restitution order in full.

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  3. Law school is social control the goal to produce a social product. As such it began after the Revolution and has nearly ruined us to this day: "“Scarcely any political question arises in the United States which is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question. Hence all parties are obliged to borrow, in their daily controversies, the ideas, and even the language, peculiar to judicial proceedings. As most public men [i.e., politicians] are, or have been, legal practitioners, they introduce the customs and technicalities of their profession into the management of public affairs. The jury extends this habitude to all classes. The language of the law thus becomes, in some measure, a vulgar tongue; the spirit of the law, which is produced in the schools and courts of justice, gradually penetrates beyond their walls into the bosom of society, where it descends to the lowest classes, so that at last the whole people contract the habits and the tastes of the judicial magistrate.” ? Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

  4. Attorney? Really? Or is it former attorney? Status with the Ind St Ct? Status with federal court, with SCOTUS? This is a legal newspaper, or should I look elsewhere?

  5. Once again Indiana has not only shown what little respect it has for animals, but how little respect it has for the welfare of the citizens of the state. Dumping manure in a pond will most certainly pollute the environment and ground water. Who thought of this spiffy plan? No doubt the livestock industry. So all the citizens of Indiana have to suffer pollution for the gain of a few livestock producers who are only concerned about their own profits at the expense of everyone else who lives in this State. Shame on the Environmental Rules Board!

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