Strand sentenced to 20 years
Tuesday, January 07, 2014 12:08 PM
David Strand of Decorah, a former attorney, has been sentenced to 20 years for misappropriating client funds.
Strand agreed to plead guilty in October to amended charges in connection with theft from several former clients. His license to practice law was recently revoked by the Iowa Supreme Court.
Strand, 54, 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 in October, 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 recommended concurrent sentences on three of the first-degree theft charges.
Strand entered guilty pleas at his sentencing hearing Tuesday in Winneshiek County District Court. Judge Joel Dalrymple sentenced him to 10 years each on the four first-degree theft charges and two years on the third-degree theft charge.
The sentences of three of the first-degree theft charges and the third-degree theft charge are to be served concurrently, but consecutively to the sentence for the other first-degree theft charge.
"The court therefore intends to impose a 20-year term," Judge Dalrymple wrote in his sentencing order.
Strand received suspended $1,000 fines on each of the first-degree theft charges. A $625 fine on the third-degree theft charge was not suspended.
If Strand had not entered a guilty plea Tuesday following preparation of the pre-plea PSI, the state could have amended the trial information to the original charges and Strand would not have been able to resist it.
Strand also was ordered to pay restitution to his victims and court costs.
The sentencing order directs the Winneshiek County Sheriff to transport Strand to the Iowa Medical Classification Center at Oakdale.
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 in the fall of 2012.