Facing a trial in which prosecutors vowed to show that her clients' money paid for steak dinners, happy hours and resort vacations, disbarred attorney Jessica Miller avoided the spectacle and pleaded guilty to grand theft charges that could send her to prison.
The plea, which came with no sentencing deal with prosecutors, capped a three-year legal scandal that began with complaints from clients of her Port Richey law firm who said she took their money but did no work. In August 2007, after missing three months of guardianship hearings, she went to jail for 43 days for contempt of court.
The Florida Bar investigated and ultimately kicked her out.
Then came the criminal charges.
Miller, 32, pleaded guilty Friday to two counts of second-degree grand theft and two counts of third-degree grand theft. She is accused of taking about $3,900 for legal services she never provided, as well as funneling some $65,000 from the trust funds of two divorce clients into her firm's operating account.
The day she learns her fate is April 6, when she will be sentenced by Circuit Judge Michael Andrews.
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Pasco: Ex-Attorney Pleads Guilty to Stealing From Clients