On March 25, the day of her sentencing, Lieberman, 63, returned to the same courthouse where she built her reputation as a bright, trustworthy attorney.
Barbara Lieberman at her sentencing for laundering almost $4 million, stolen from elderly victims.
This time she wore handcuffs and an orange inmate jumpsuit.
In brief remarks delivered with a steady voice, she thanked and apologized to her family, and spoke of the support she's received from her minister.
"He tells me that God has forgiven me," Lieberman said. "I appreciate that intellectually, but in truth, in my heart, I can't forgive myself."
Hear Lieberman's entire statement to the court.
Lieberman called her conduct "indefensible." Yet she said nothing specific about what she'd done, let alone why she'd done it, and made only an oblique reference to her victims.
"I'm just grateful that I can make them whole for the pain that I know I have caused them," Lieberman said.
She failed to mention that 14 of her 16 victims are dead. Or that the bulk of her restitution money could wind up in the New Jersey treasury.
So far, relatives of only two of the deceased victims have come forward.Together, those relatives will receive about $574,000 of the funds, a court document shows.
If no one else claims the remaining $2.5 million within two years, that money will be forfeited to the state.
See the list of Lieberman's victims.
State Superior Court Judge Michael A. Donio sentenced Lieberman to 10 years in state prison. She must serve 31/2years before becoming eligible for parole.
In scathing comments from the bench, Donio compared her crimes to child abuse.
"Some people will say there's nothing worse than taking advantage of a small child; nothing worse than a sexual predator who lays and waits for a small child to molest," Donio said.
The judge at Barbara Lieberman's sentencing expressed his disgust with her crimes.
"A good argument can be made that what was done to these elderly victims who were in assisted living or nursing facilities, unable to care for their physical or mental well-being and were preyed upon by this lawyer and allegedly by her team of co-conspirators is just as bad. I agree," he said.
"(The exploitation of) elderly people who worked and saved their whole life to end up ... broke because of this greed should be met with the swift sword of justice."
This was no momentary lapse of judgment, Donio noted, but a "continuous course of illegal activity" that spanned a decade, at least.
"Are there other victims? Did it occur over greater than 10 years?" the judge asked.
"We may never know."
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Betrayal of trust: Part Three