White-Collar Crime

Ex-lawyer at first avoided prison in $700K client thefts, but gets time for not paying restitution

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Once a top commercial litigator in Miami, Guy Bailey avoided prison after he was convicted in 2014 of stealing $700,000 from his clients.

Jailing the disbarred attorney—who was then 76 and physically impaired—would have served no useful purpose, the trial judge said at the time, and Bailey’s six-year probation sentence made it possible for him to pay restitution.

But Bailey didn’t pay his victims anything at all, and used some funds to go on family vacations. So, on Tuesday Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Milton Hirsch imposed a 25-month prison term, despite Bailey’s plea for mercy, saying that he had violated a condition of his release, the Daily Business Review (sub. req.) and the Miami Herald (sub. req.) report.

Bailey, now 77, pleaded with the judge not to put him in prison, saying that his neuropathy, which makes it difficult for him to walk, will worsen there.

However, Hirsch, who was also the original sentencing judge, ordered Bailey taken into custody immediately.

“I recognize that these family field-trips, all told, could not have cost Mr. Bailey more than hundreds of dollars, at the very most a couple of thousand dollars,” Hirsch wrote. “But during the same period … Mr. Bailey paid not a penny toward his restitution. Perhaps he could not have paid much, but he could have paid something.”

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Ex-lawyer gets probation for $700K theft; judge won’t put ‘ailing septuagenarian in jail to rot’”

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