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Trusts & Estates

Arrested Attorney Gambled Away $800 K

Posted Jul 23, 2007 5:37 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A run of good luck has apparently ended for a graduate of Yale Law School who has been a member of the Connecticut bar for more than 40 years and reportedly until now has had an unblemished record as a trusts and estates attorney.

Richard C. Hannan Jr. was arrested last week as he sat at a video poker machine in Connecticut's Mohegan Sun Casino, and charged with first-degree larceny for allegedly embezzling money from an elderly client, according to New York Lawyer.

The 65-year-old reportedly has gambled away $827,000 since 2001, including almost $63,000 during the first five months of 2007, according to casino records. State lawyer grievance officials, who are seeking to revoke his law license, say Hannan may have mishandled up to $480,000 from a dozen clients' estates.

His only reported comment so far has been “No,” in response to a judge's query at a July 19 hearing asking whether Hannan had any question about his constitutional rights. A resident of West Haven, Conn., Hannan is in practice with his son, Gregg, in nearby Wallingford. Both municipalities are near New Haven, where Yale is located, at the end of a commuter train line from New York City.

"You could have knocked me over with a feather," Terence Zemetis of Wallingford, a lawyer for a niece of a 99-year-old woman from whom Hannan is accused of stealing, told the Hartford Courant. "He's a conservative, circumspect, intelligent, articulate man. What it really tells me is the tragedy of his gambling."

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