Ex-attorney from Richmond avoids jail for bilking clients

A former Richmond attorney won't spend any time in jail despite pleading guilty to eight felony theft charges of taking money from clients but never filing their bankruptcy petitions.

A judge ordered 61-year-old Charles Hyde to serve six years on probation. Judge Marianne Vorhees said she believes Hyde can better spend the time working to pay off nearly $55,000 in restitution.

Some of Hyde's victims told the (Richmond) Palladium-Item after Thursday's hearing that they believed he deserved a tougher punishment. Robert Florence said someone who stole so much from a store would go to jail.

Hyde closed his office without warning and gave up his law license in 2012.

Defense attorney James Williams said Hyde's problems came from undiagnosed psychological problems.


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