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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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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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