David Strand agreed to plead guilty this week to amended charges in connection with theft from several former clients.
Strand, a 54-year-old Decorah attorney, was charged in May with first-degree theft, a Class C felony, for "unlawfully and willfully" misappropriating more than $10,000 in his attorney trust account belonging to the Shiloh Deal Estate, "by using or disposing of the property in a manner inconsistent with or a denial of the trust or owner's rights in the property."
The incident occurred in November of 2010.
Strand also was charged with unlawful activity, a Class B felony, for committing theft, "an act for financial gain on a continuing basis" from about July 20, 2009 through Sept. 20, 2012.
Randal Deal filed a victim restitution claim in the case which stated his losses from the defendant' crime totaled $129,000 in stolen insurance payments.
As part of the plea agreement reached earlier this week, Strand pleaded guilty to the amended charges of four counts of first-degree theft and one count of third-degree theft. In exchange, the state will recommend concurrent sentences on three of the first-degree theft charges.
There is no plea agreement regarding sentencing and a pre-plea pre-sentence investigation (PSI) will be prepared. Both the defendant and the prosecution will be allowed to argue for any legal sentence at the time of sentencing.
If the defendant does not enter a guilty plea following preparation of the pre-plea PSI, the state may amend the trail information to the original charges and the defendant cannot resist such an amendment.
The case is set for further proceedings Tuesday, Dec. 10, in Winneshiek County District Court.
Under the amended trial information, Count 1 alleges Strand misappropriated more than $10,000 from the Shiloh Deal Estate between July 20, 2009 through June 1, 2010, Count 2 alleges Strand took more than $10,000 from the Shiloh Deal Estate between Oct. 28, 2010, and Feb. 28, 2011, and Count 3 alleges Strand took more than $10,000 from Dennis Steinlage to partially pay a previously defrauded client on April 4, 2012.
Count 4 charges Strand with taking more than $10,000 from his attorney trust account belonging to Darlyne Hackman between April 13, 2012 and April 23, 2012, and Count 5 charges Strand with misappropriating up to $1,000 in his trust on Sept. 12, 2012.
Strand's license to practice law in the state of Iowa was suspended last fall.