White-Collar Crime

Lawyer Accused of Embezzling $500K From Her Own Grandmother Gets Probation

A Texas lawyer who took a plea earlier this year after being accused of embezzling $500,000 from her own grandmother has avoided a prison sentence.

However, Judge George Godwin told Michelle Lorenz Valicek, 54, that he doubts she will comply with the terms of her deferred adjudication probation, the San Antonio Express-News reports.

“This will be a miracle if we can keep you out of the penitentiary,” Godwin told the once-respected criminal defense lawyer during a Tuesday hearing, noting her self-admitted substance abuse, among other issues and predicting that a probation revocation hearing could be in her future. “You may well be back before this court in about six months,” he said.

Charged in 2009 in a 16-count felony indictment, Valicek pleaded no contest earlier this year to misapplication of fiduciary property while serving as administrator for her senile grandmother, Margaret Lorenz, as another San Antonio Express-News article details. She gave up her law license as a condition of the plea.

Valicek could have gotten as much as 20 years in prison, and the government had sought a 10- to 20-year term. However, Valicek’s father, who inherited from Lorenz after she died last year at age 97, wrote a letter asking the judge to put his daughter on probation and not require her to pay restitution for the $500,000 that authorities say is missing.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Attorney Facing Felony Embezzlement Trial Is Jailed Without Bond After DWI Arrest”

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