Santa Monica Man Handed Three Year Jail Sentence For Stealing Nearly $370K

Wednesday, 18 Jul 2012, 7:57:00 AM

Brenton Garen

A Santa Monica man was today sentenced to three years in county jail after admitting to stealing nearly $370,000 from 11 clients and one employee while he was working as an attorney, according to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.

David Robinson, 44, was a California attorney from February 1995 until he resigned in January 2010. He was sentenced by Judge Craig Richman.

Robinson 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.

Deputy District Attorney Fernando Guzman, of the Justice System Integrity Division who prosecuted the case, said Robinson was taken into custody after today’s ruling.

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.

Guzman said that even though Robinson was suspended by the California State Bar between April, 2007, until February, 2008, he continued to represent clients.

Robinson, who has paid $75,000 in restitution, still owes $293,000 in restitution, Guzman said.

The case was investigated by the California State Bar, the D.A.’s Bureau of Investigation, and the United States Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration 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.

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