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For Immediate Release
September 14, 2006
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

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 $57.

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.

   

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