By Aaron Blevins, 7/26/2012
A 44-year-old former attorney who admitted stealing nearly $370,000 from 11 clients and one employee was sentenced on July 18 to three years in county jail, the District Attorney’s Office announced.
David Robinson, who was a California attorney from February 1995 until he resigned in January 2010, was sentenced by Judge Craig Richman. Deputy District Attorney Fernando Guzman, with the Justice System Integrity Division, prosecuted the case. Robinson was taken into custody after the sentencing on July 18.
He pleaded no contest last year to 10 felony counts of grand theft of personal property and one felony count of practicing law without a license. He admitted stealing $367,953 from 12 victims, most of whom he represented, and one employee. The thefts occurred between April 2007 and April 2010.
Guzman said that when the Santa Monica resident settled cases on behalf of clients, he deposited the money in a trust. However, Robinson never paid the clients. Instead, he withdrew the money for personal use, Guzman said.
He said that even though Robinson was suspended by the California State Bar between April 2007 and February 2008, he continued to represent clients. Robinson, who has paid $75,000 in restitution, still owes $293,000, Guzman said.
The case was investigated by the California State Bar, the district attorney’s Bureau of Investigation and the United States Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), pursuant to its Contributory Plans Criminal Project.
“This case shows that the labor department and its state partners in law enforcement are committed to ensuring that justice is served for those that embezzle from their workers,” said Crisanta Johnson, director of the EBSA’s Los Angeles Regional Office.