February 24, 2004
SALISBURY ATTORNEY CONVICTED AND SENTENCED FOR FELONY THEFT
General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that John Robert
Sullivan, age 48, of 820 Riverside Drive, Salisbury, Maryland,
was convicted of felony theft on February 20 after he entered a
guilty plea in the Circuit Court for Wicomico County. The Honorable
Owen Wise, the presiding judge, sentenced the defendant to five
years’ incarceration, suspending all but 6 months. Sullivan
will serve the 6-month sentence in the Wicomico County Detention
Center. The court will allow Sullivan, who is employed currently
as a legal researcher, to leave the detention center during the
workday and return to jail after work. The Court also imposed a
5-year period of supervised probation with the condition that the
defendant pay $60,000 in restitution to the victim of the theft,
the law firm of Long and Badger, located in Salisbury, Maryland.
facts of the case were that John Sullivan joined the law firm
of Long, Badger & Robertson, as a partner on May 15, 1995.
Under the firm’s partnership agreement, all client fees received
by the partners were to be delivered to the general fund of the
firm. In the fall of 2001, a secretary was overheard questioning
why Sullivan failed to deliver initial consultation fees to the
firm account. The office manager examined Sullivan’s fee
arrangements and found that Sullivan “wrote off” an
abnormal number of client fees, representing that the fees were
uncollectible. When questioned, Sullivan admitted taking about
$60,000. The theft allegations were reported to the Office of the
Attorney General, Criminal Investigations Division by Davis Ruark,
the Wicomico County State’s Attorney, after he was notified
by the Attorney Grievance Commission.
Criminal Investigations Division of the Maryland Attorney General’s
Office conducted an investigative audit that confirmed that the
defendant stole the firm’s money by taking checks and
cash fees paid by clients and failing to report the money to
The State further determined that John Sullivan stole the money
in a continuing course of conduct from on or about January
1, 1996 until October 22, 2001.
Sullivan has been disbarred from the practice of law in Maryland.