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Local ex-attorney sentenced to 3 years

Lawyer pleads guilty, must repay $500,000 to clients, including some in Santa Clarita Valley

Posted: September 15, 2009 11:25 p.m.
Updated: September 16, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 

A former Santa Clarita attorney was sentenced to three years in state prison and ordered to pay more than $500,000 in restitution after he pleaded guilty to grand theft by embezzlement Tuesday, according to a Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office report.
John Jeffrey Long, 61, of Santa Clarita, pleaded guilty to 10 felony counts of grand theft by embezzlement in a plea agreement at Los Angeles Municipal Court, the report said.

Long was ordered to pay the $500,000 as restitution to all the victims - including several in the Santa Clarita Valley - who were affected between June 2002 and November 2007, district attorney spokeswoman Sharia Davila-Morales said.

The Santa Clarita attorney was arrested on Jan. 9.

Long practiced law in the California for more than 20 years before the State Bar of California banned him on unrelated charges.
He had resigned in March 2007 after the State Bar filed a request to disbar him because of "misconduct that has caused significant harm to clients and the public," according to Long's record with the State Bar.

One of the alleged offenses included misappropriation of more than $150,000 from a client, the report said.

In a separate incident, Long settled a case against a client's wishes, forged her name on the settlement check and embezzled the money, according to the report.

Long initially pled not guilty at his arraignment on Jan. 12 but changed his plea in Tuesday's court hearing, Davila-Morales said.

In Long's 2007 case, one unrelated to Tuesday's sentencing, the attorney pled guilty to other grand theft charges.

On Aug. 28, 2007, Long was sentenced to three years of formal probation and 200 hours of community service for an offense that occurred in August 2003, Davila-Morales said.

In that earlier lawsuit, Long pled guilty to one count of grand theft of money and property exceeding $400,000, Davila-Morales said.

Long's defense attorney, Tristan Cannon, refused to comment about the case.

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