September 14, 2006
DISBARRED ATTORNEY CONVICTED OF THEFT
Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today
the conviction of Patrick L. Sullivan, 60, of E. Pennsylvania Ave.,
Bel Air, for stealing more than $138,000 from a trust fund of which
he had been the Trustee. Sullivan, a disbarred Maryland attorney,
pled guilty to two counts of felony theft before the Honorable
Ruth Jakubowski of the Baltimore County Circuit Court, and was
sentenced to five years in prison with all but two years suspended,
five years probation and restitution in the amount of $138,800.
In 1976, Sullivan had been appointed by the Harford
County Circuit Court to serve as the Trustee of a trust fund
set up two years
earlier by the last will and testament of a Bel Air businessman,
H. P. White. The beneficiary of the trust was Nancy Herman, Mr.
White’s daughter. Mrs. Herman resides in Texas. Under the
terms of the trust, Sullivan was supposed to send Ms. Herman quarterly
checks representing the income from the trust.
In his guilty plea today, Sullivan admitted that beginning in
2000, he started dipping into the trust for his personal benefit.
First, he wrote himself a $50,000 check, which he used to pay off
the mortgage on his beach house in Ocean City. At the time, the
bank that held the mortgage had commenced a foreclosure action
and Sullivan and his wife stood to lose their vacation home. Thereafter,
Sullivan wrote himself a total of 72 additional checks in large,
even amounts, which he used to pay personal and business expenses.
These checks totaled another $88,800. When Sullivan wrote the last
such check, in January 2002, the balance left in the trust was
At the time he was stealing from Mrs. Herman’s
trust, Sullivan was managing another estate, for the beneficiaries
of the late
State Senator William Amoss. Suspecting malfeasance, they reported
Sullivan to the Attorney Grievance Commission. Sullivan was eventually
disbarred in June 2002 for his mishandling of the Amoss estate.
The Client Protection Fund, which is funded by mandatory contributions
by every Maryland attorney, has reimbursed Mrs. Herman $86,000.
The case was referred to the Criminal Investigations
Division of the Attorney General’s Office by the Harford County State ’s
Attorney’s Office and Bar Counsel, and investigated by CID
and the Maryland State Police.