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Disbarred

NEWS
October 8, 2005 | By Edward Colimore INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A disbarred Camden County lawyer - convicted of stealing $2.7 million from about 40 former clients, including an autistic Audubon man - lost his bid yesterday for a reduction in his 18-year prison sentence. Superior Court Judge Linda G. Baxter in Camden ordered Dennis O'Brien of Haddon Heights to serve the term without the possibility of parole for eight years. Her reaffirmation of the sentence handed down last year came after O'Brien asked the state appellate court in March to reduce his jail time.
NEWS
July 26, 2005 | By Edward Colimore INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
About $2 million has been amassed to help repay the victims of disbarred Camden County lawyer Dennis O'Brien, who stole $2.7 million from 33 former clients, including an autistic Audubon man, authorities said yesterday. The victims have been invited to a restitution hearing Thursday in state Superior Court to comment on the proposed payout. Under the arrangement, each would be compensated for at least 40 percent of his or her losses. About $900,000 of the money is expected to come from O'Brien's liquidated assets after other claims are resolved, according to the Camden County Prosecutor's Office.
NEWS
February 28, 2005 | By Edward Colimore INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A disbarred Camden County lawyer who was sentenced to 18 years in prison for stealing $2.76 million from clients, including an autistic man, will ask an appeals panel March 8 to reduce his jail time. Dennis O'Brien, who built a practice around a reputation as a churchgoing family man, wants the judges to consider his cooperation in repaying his 39 victims. None of the former clients have yet received money from the liquidation of O'Brien's assets, though more than $750,000 is likely to be amassed by a court-appointed special master for disbursement.
NEWS
August 21, 2004 | By Edward Colimore INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A disbarred Camden County lawyer who stole $2.76 million from 39 clients, including an autistic Audubon man, was sentenced yesterday to 18 years in prison after apologizing to the victims and asking their forgiveness. Dennis O'Brien, 62, of Station Avenue in Haddon Heights, must serve eight years before he is eligible for parole. O'Brien, shackled at the waist and wearing orange prison garb, told his former clients assembled in the Camden courtroom: "I let you down. " "I know that the only hope I have is that someday in my life I will be able to make amends to you. . . . It would take me an entire lifetime trying to do good to somehow repair what I have done.
NEWS
August 16, 2004 | By Edward Colimore INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
From the beginning, the case against disbarred Camden County lawyer Dennis O'Brien was unlike any other faced by prosecutors. And authorities say it has required an equally "unique response. " O'Brien, who built a practice around a reputation as a church-going family man, pleaded guilty last August to stealing $2.5 million from 33 clients, including $850,000 from an autistic Audubon man. The total amount stolen, officials have discovered, has risen to $2.75 million from 39 clients.
NEWS
March 23, 2004 | By Kathleen Brady Shea INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The case pits a disbarred lawyer against a disrobed one. The accusations, punctuated by insults and invectives, have run the gamut from hiding Penthouse Pet income to threatening Mafia hits. The result? A property settlement thrashed out in Chester County Court on Dec. 9 between adult model Victoria Zdrok and her ex-husband, Alexander Zdrok, has self-destructed. Now the parties face an outcome that may prove more challenging: a showdown with a judge who expressed distaste for the tactics on both sides.
NEWS
January 25, 2004 | By Edward Colimore INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
They trusted Dennis O'Brien with $2.5 million in inheritances and other financial accounts, then found out he had stolen their money to pay his own debts and expenses. Now, five months after the disbarred Camden County lawyer pleaded guilty to the theft, most of his 37 victims will be lucky to get back half of their losses. S. David Brandt, a court-appointed special master and special counsel, said he expected to raise about $1 million from the sale of 11 O'Brien properties over the coming months.
NEWS
August 27, 2003 | By Edward Colimore INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A disbarred Camden County lawyer who built a practice around his reputation as a churchgoing family man pleaded guilty yesterday to stealing $2.5 million from 33 clients, including about $1 million from an autistic Audubon man. Dennis O'Brien, 61, of Station Avenue in Haddon Heights, admitted taking the money from people who had named him guardian of their estates or entrusted other financial accounts to him for investment. More than two dozen of his victims and their relatives and friends sat quietly in state Superior Court as O'Brien listened to the charges, then accepted responsibility.
NEWS
August 24, 2003 | By Edward Colimore INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Responding to the theft of Ronnie Mich's $1.2 million inheritance, New Jersey lawmakers are crafting legislation to protect the beneficiaries of estates from dishonest executors. State Sen. Stephen Sweeney (D., Gloucester) said he would introduce a bill - called Ronnie's Law - that would prohibit disbarred lawyers and anyone convicted of a felony from serving as an executor. Dennis O'Brien, who faces charges of taking funds from estates in his trust, was disbarred in 1999.
NEWS
July 19, 2003 | By Troy Graham INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A disbarred Cherry Hill lawyer who jumped bail rather than face sentencing for stealing from his clients could be sentenced to more than nine years in prison after he was nabbed trying to leave the country. Stuart B. Donegan, 36, pleaded guilty on Oct. 8, 2002, in state Superior Court in Camden County to misapplication of entrusted funds. He admitted to stealing money his clients had given him to resolve their bankruptcies. The New Jersey Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection repaid $207,713 to 25 of his clients.
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