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Former Trust Attorney Charged With Grand Theft For Allegedly Stealing $279k From Trust

A former trust attorney in St. Petersburg is facing felony theft charges after prosecutors say he stole almost a quarter million dollars from a client.

The 68-year-old man was first involved in the trust when he was hired to run it in his capacity as an attorney. When he was given charge of the overseas trust several years ago, investigators say the trust res was worth over $700,000.

However, the beneficiary said she became aware of a substantial amount of missing funds shortly upon acquiring the trust res earlier this year. The beneficiary says the now-empty trust was withdrawn from by the defendant in early 2015.

Investigators say the defendant wrote several checks to the trust totaling $279,000 between February and May of 2015, making them payable to himself. As the trust is now empty, and due to the fact that the statute of limitations has been run on some of those alleged withdrawals from the trust, prosecutors say they are unable to charge him for the entirety of that amount.

The Michigan native was arrested on March 9 and booked into the Pinellas County Jail. He currently faces one count of grand theft of less than $200,000. The defendant continues to reside in custody pending a bail of $150,000.

Local media say the defendant's law license was revoked two years ago after a different client says he withdrew over $1 million in advance fees from their trust.

The Law Offices of Bjorn Brunvand have been representing people charged with capital murder, felony drug charges, drunk driving, government fraud, and white-collar crimes for over a quarter century. Contact our office today to discuss your Tampa Bay-area state or federal charges.

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