Disbarred Los Angeles attorney Ricardo A. Torres II has been placed on probation for stealing from clients, a district attorney spokesperson said yesterday.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge George G. Lomeli sentenced Torres Friday to five years’ probation, the conditions of which include 300 hours of community service.
Torres pled guilty to one count of embezzlement, in violation of Penal Code Sec.
506, in September.
State Bar spokesperson told the MetNews that Torres last month paid over $97,000 in
restitution to the State Bar for funds paid out by the Client Security Fund to
Lawrence and Rachel Prijoles, plus interest. Torres, whose proffered resignation
from the State Bar was rejected by the Supreme Court, agreed in 2011 to be
disbarred and to pay restitution to the Prijoleses or the fund.
According to the disbarment stipulation, the Prijoleses were involved in a head-on collision with a drunk driver in San Diego County in 2005, winning a verdict for more than $500,000 in compensatory damages. The driver then agreed to pay $125,000 to
settle the punitive damages part of the claim.
Torres received checks totaling nearly $650,000 from the driver and the driver’s. Of
that, nearly $560,000 was disbursed to Torres, his co-counsel, expert witnesses,
and the clients.
None of the medical providers were paid, and Torres admitted misappropriating the remaining $89,000 in settlement funds.
The Client Security Fund has also paid $27,100 on four other applications filed against Torres, the State Bar spokesperson said'
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Ex-Lawyer Torres Pays Restitution, Placed on Probation