Monday, July 04, 2016

Disbarred Lawyer Gets Six Month Prison Time, Six Month House Arrest, Ordered To Participate In Drug Testing & Treatment For Pilfering $150K+ Of Entrusted Funds While Acting As Bankruptcy Trustee For Debtor

In Jacksonville, Florida, The Florida Times Union reports:
  • A federal judge sentenced a 38-year-old Ponte Vedra Beach man who practiced law in Atlantic Beach to six months in prison for embezzling about $151,000 as the trustee for a debtor during a bankruptcy case in 2015, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

    William Reid Penuel also was ordered to pay $151,239 in restitution, and after completing the prison term he must serve six months of home detention as part of a three-year supervised release, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

    He also was ordered to participate in ongoing drug testing and treatment as part of the supervised release.

    Penuel assumed responsibility for about $909,000 in estate funds as the trustee for Premier Bank Holding Co. and deposited the money into his bank account, prosecutors said. The funds were authorized by the bankruptcy court to pay certain expenses, but Penuel started to divert the funds for his own use. He made withdrawals and deposited the funds into other accounts that were in his control and withdrew the funds once they were in those accounts.

    Penuel pleaded guilty to embezzlement in March and was disbarred from practicing law by the Florida Bar [] in April.

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