Legal Ethics

Lawyer Takes Plea in $112K Embezzlement Case

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In a move that came as a relief to her former clients, a California lawyer today pleaded guilty to embezzling $112,000 from a trust account.

Previously, attorney Patricia Gregory has said she did nothing wrong, withdrawing money to which she was entitled for legal fees and providing even more legal services than Luwain Ng and Denise Dollpaid for, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

Her law license has been suspended, and she has been recommended for disbarment. However, she was not criminally prosecuted until after a September article ran in the newspaper about Gregory and other lawyers who faced legal discipline for alleged misdeeds but no criminal sanctions. Two weeks later, she was charged with 11 felonies, the U-T recounts.

As part of a plea deal, eight of the charges were dropped, and two were reduced. Gregory pleaded guilty to a felony count of embezzlement and two misdemeanors.

She declined to comment until after she is sentenced Feb. 24.

“There is … a sigh of relief just hearing her say, ‘Guilty, your honor,’ and having the judge read her plea,” Ng told the newspaper, noting that the case dates back four years. After the plea, she will likely qualify for a $50,000 award from the State Bar Client Security Fund, the U-T notes.

Earlier coverage: “Judge Refuses Request to Jail Suspended Lawyer for Her Website, LinkedIn Page”

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