Patricia Gregory
  • Patricia Gregory
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A former Carlsbad attorney admitted that she took money from two clients’ accounts and used those funds “for personal use,” according to a plea deal read in court by the judge on January 24.

Patricia Ann Gregory, 61, admitted to one felony count of misappropriation of funds by trustee when she took funds from the account of a client for whom she had handled a divorce. The money from the sale of a house owned by the client and her soon-to-be-ex husband was put into a trust fund controlled by the disgraced attorney.

According to prosecutor Sherry Thompson, “Originally the complaint charged losses of over $100,000. It was subsequently determined that the defendant had paid in excess of $30,000 back and the combined loss suffered between the remaining victims is over $85,000.”

Gregory was “involuntarily” listed as inactive and “not eligible to practice law” on the State Bar website at the end of hearings in March 2011. The judge who heard that matter recommended that Gregory be disbarred, according to documents posted by the State Bar. Gregory was made eligible to practice law in California in 2003, according to the website.

Gregory also admitted to two misdemeanors in the plea deal this week. The first misdemeanor was another fraudulent taking of funds from a different client’s account; the other misdemeanor was for illegally advertising her services as an attorney after she was ineligible to practice law.

Prosecutor Sherry Thompson dropped ten felony charges, including the taking of funds from a third victim, as part of the plea deal. The prosecutor suggested that victims of Gregory’s fraud could apply to the State Bar for reimbursement through their “security fund,” which she said has a $50,000 limit and “will not pay interest.”

Gregory expects to be sentenced to 365 days on February 24, although judge Kimberlee Lagotta noted that the maximum possible sentence for Gregory's offenses is three years.

Pictured: Patricia Gregory

Photo by Nick Morris

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Comments

Javajoe25 Jan. 26, 2012 @ 6:22 a.m.

Good. Another scumbag lawyer is going to jail. I wonder how many never get caught. The funny thing is, the dirtbag was probably making good money on the books. Not enough, I guess. Never is enough for some of these people. Occupy.

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spudboy Jan. 26, 2012 @ 7:47 a.m.

Sad.

Amazing how the law "profession" covers for each other, and it's almost impossible to be disbarred in Kalifornia. Doctors loose their licenses all the time, but shyster attorneys usually get a slap on the wrist.

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SurfPuppy619 Jan. 28, 2012 @ 10:43 p.m.

Actually it is much easier for a lawyer to lose their license than a medical doctor.

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Ponzi Jan. 26, 2012 @ 8:29 a.m.

Gregory passed the bar at 52 (which means she probably attended law school when she was 50) and then began stealing money in 2006 when she was 55. Now, after years of promising to pay her clients back, she is going to jail at 61. Some people can handle the rigors of education but not the fiduciary responsibility of handling money. Practicing law would have been a nice little desk job for an old lady, but instead she squandered her life and ruined others along with it.

She was only practicing law for 3 years before she started embezzling. I think the State Bar should check their applicants backgrounds more thoroughly. A check of the public records shows that Gregory had several substantial tax liens filed against her in the late 1990’s. Past performance might not always predict future performance, but quite often it does.

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Visduh Jan. 26, 2012 @ 11:01 a.m.

No amount of education or professional preparation can keep some folks from spending money they don't have. So, those who could never get past the paycheck-to-paycheck routine and get a few bucks ahead are frequently in trouble. I can be certain that she has said that she didn't intend to keep the money and was planning to repay it. But that's what they always say. Add ready access to funds and the trust we are required to show to our legal advisors, and you have all the ingredients for fraud. Yeah, she should get three years just to make her an example for others, but she won't. And if the prosecutor really had evidence of ten felonies, these admissions are not the whole story of her misconduct, but only represent the tip. In that case, she's getting leniency, and that's a travesty.

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GuestSpeaker Jan. 26, 2012 @ 4:15 p.m.

After following this case for some time there is a good chance that other victims could come forward now that Ex Attorney Patricia Gregory is going to prison. I would not doubt she threatened some of her victims with a lawsuit she would make up. There is over 15 civil lawsuits against Patricia Gregory in the Court File Index. Professional thief or lawyer?

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GuestSpeaker Jan. 26, 2012 @ 4:06 p.m.

Patricia Gregory was found guilty of stealing more then $112,000.00 according to the State Bar. This was also the amount charged in Superior Criminal Court. Approximately $80,000.00 was stolen from the one victim. Not $65,000.00 as the story says. Two victims at over $112,000.00 was stolen by Gregory. Hopefully this thief will do 4 years in prison. Guest Gregory thought she could get away with it. WRONG! LOL!

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Gail Powell Jan. 26, 2012 @ 6:02 p.m.

What is even more shocking is that this professional thief actually worked for the D.A.'s office and was a personal friend of Bonnie Dumanis. That is why the embezzlement case against Gregory was so long in coming, but because the hapless victims made such a stink and it got out in the media, Bonnie's hand was forced against her shameful crony. I still do not think Patricia Gregory will do any time--I bet she ends up with a slap on the wrist.

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Visduh Jan. 26, 2012 @ 6:56 p.m.

You may be right. My advice to anyone seeking legal counsel is to stay very involved in the whole proceeding. These rip-off lawyers can walk the straight-and-narrow if the client is aware of everything. When the client abdicates his or her role, then the lawyer can step into the breach and start scooping up the funds.

Isn't it interesting that Bahnee's name keeps coming up in these scandals? She has forged a local crime ring of females that looks like the "Gang that Couldn't Shoot Straight."

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GuestSpeaker Jan. 26, 2012 @ 8:42 p.m.

Visduh, from your post it sounds like "The spider and the fly" scenario. Patricia Gregory in this case would be a black widow or a violin spider? You can only feel for the victims. This is a high profile case. I really doubt old battle ax Dumanis has time now for her good ol buddy Patricia Gregory. It is the Vista Court House Judges you wonder about now. All let Gregory stay free with no bail. Judge Stavin first, then Lagotta twice. Whats up with this free pass "who cares let them go" court? What about these girls who Patricia Gregory stole their life savings from? No jail time? Hopefully the media did alert the public enough and the public awaits the sentencing. It was well covered. I would only think these Judges look carefully at the bottom line in these high profile cases. That I think is the the case. You would think there would be a sentence ... and a good one to.

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David Dodd Jan. 26, 2012 @ 9:59 p.m.

The bigger picture, now that Gregory has admitted to stealing the money, is that regardless of any jail time served it makes it quite simple for the victims to go right ahead and file a civil case against her.

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SurfPuppy619 Jan. 28, 2012 @ 10:50 p.m.

it quite simple for the victims to go right ahead and file a civil case against her. == REFRIED, SHE HAS NO MONEY-SHE IS JUDGMENT PROOF.

WHO CARES ABOUT A CIVIL SUIT IF YOU Cannot COLLECT. THEY HAVE NO CHANCE OF GETTING THEIR MONEY BACK B/C THIS DIRTBAG STOLE IT AND IT IS LONG GONE AND SHE HAS NO MONEY, NO MEANS NO WAY TO PAY IT BACK.

They are out of luck except for the state bar recovery fund and they may get a small portion back, maybe 20 or 30 cents on the dollar.

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David Dodd Jan. 30, 2012 @ 1:56 a.m.

The point is, her jail time will not compensate the victims. Feeling really warm and fuzzy inside over launching her into a jail cell recovers nothing for them. She has assets, and even if they ONLY recover a little bit, that is better than nothing. Her jail time won't amount to a handful of beans anyway. Do you really think that 3 years in jail (versus 1) is going to make a difference in the long run? Change her somehow? Punish her somehow? If she owed me money, I'd argue for no jail time, file a civil suit, and make her work and pay me for the rest of her life.

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GuestSpeaker Jan. 26, 2012 @ 10:40 p.m.

Best of luck collecting. There is about a dozen civil suits that Patricia Gregory already lost and they never collected. Stand in line. I think mostly all of Patricia Gregory victims would like to see a nice stint in Jail or Prison. The State Bar will also try and collect around $100,000.00 from the dirt bag. Now if victims wish to go to the State Bar they can collect easier now that Gregory will be sentenced.

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David Dodd Jan. 26, 2012 @ 11:08 p.m.

Actually, at least some of the victims plan on a civil suit and were more happy about the guilty plea for that. Can't recall where I read it.

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Burwell Jan. 26, 2012 @ 11:02 p.m.

I don't think Dumanis was trying to protect Gregory. I suspect Gregory blew the money gambling in Indian casinos. The Indians probably pressured Dumanis to leave Gregory alone because they didn't want the negative publicity. Dumanis only moved against Gregory when the public became fully aware of Gregory's theft and she was forced to act.

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SurfPuppy619 Jan. 28, 2012 @ 10:45 p.m.

I don't think Dumanis was trying to protect Gregory == You're 100% dead wrong.

Dumbass was absolutely protecting this dirtbag-until the heat of this paper and others made it impossible to keep covering for her. This case should have been filed over a year ago. Without the bad press Dumbass would have never prosecuted.

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GuestSpeaker Jan. 27, 2012 @ 7:05 a.m.

Dumanis did NOT want to prosecute thief Patricia Gregory. The Union Tribune articles were the reason Dumanis decided to prosecute one of her own. Hopefully all the victims of Gregory will have the satifaction now that she is going to jail or prison. Over $112,000.00 stolen. The public IS watching this case and the Vista Judges. If you want to see the big picture look in the San Diego Court Index Files.

http://courtindex.sdcourt.ca.gov/CISPublic/enter?_pageid=55,1056871&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL

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GuestSpeaker Jan. 27, 2012 @ 2:45 p.m.

I see the Reader has changed the stolen money figures again. With a little research to date the money Patricia Gregory has stolen is STILL over $100,000.00. Sherry Thonpson or the author of this story has it wrong. The little bit of money paid back was below 10K and this was "hush money with an extorsion twist". The Dirt Bag should of been in prison along time ago. Just take a look at that mugshot.

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Ponzi Jan. 27, 2012 @ 10:54 p.m.

What a waste of law school. Book smart, street stupid & unethical.

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dynamo1943 Jan. 28, 2012 @ 2:56 p.m.

I would bet Patricia Gregory will do some time. I say about one 1.5 years or more. The media coverage is to big to let her walk. Besides an attorney stealing this much money has to be made an example of even if the judges are bias.

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SurfPuppy619 Jan. 28, 2012 @ 10:51 p.m.

She will only do half time.

Her maximum exposure is 3 years = MAX. Add in Penal Code 4019 "good time" credits and it is half that.

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dynamo1943 Jan. 29, 2012 @ 8:24 a.m.

Gregory Pleaded down to one felony plus two misdemeanors wouldn't that be 3 years for the felony plus 1.6 years for the two misdemeanors = 4.6 max - half = around 2.3 years minimum? Plus taken in consideration it is an enhancement crime punishable by more prison time?

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SurfPuppy619 Jan. 29, 2012 @ 2:51 p.m.

I don't know what the sentence ranges are. I highly doubt she will do 3 years on a first felony conviction. Misdemeanors are not usually 8 months, usually 6 or more often a year in county jail. So add in whatever the max is for those, 1-2 years and you have 4-5 years-but I would bet they run the misdemeanors concurrently with the felony, making it a 3 year term which all will be reduced to half time under PC 4019, 18 months-2.5 years. I don't know anything about enhancements.

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Visduh Jan. 29, 2012 @ 7:20 p.m.

Let's all wait to see what the sentence is. Then we can all say "I told you so", or "What a travesty", or "Justice was done" or . . . Bahnee D is doing some strange things nowadays, part of her run for SD mayor, and she might just throw the book at this slimeball. Or not. At least there was prosecution.

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dynamo1943 Feb. 1, 2012 @ 11:40 a.m.

Patricia Gregory belongs in prison for all the thefts she has done on all her victims.

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GuestSpeaker Feb. 2, 2012 @ 4:20 p.m.

Attorneys who steal should get a longer sentence than most. In the Patricia Gregory Grand Theft-Embezzlement case of over $112,000.00 stolen, she SHOULD do 5 years or more. All eyes are on the un-just liberal Judges of the Vista "let em go" Court Room. Gregory is to be sentenced Feb 24,2012 at 1:30 p.m. The Judge is suppose to be Kimberlee Lagotta. Lagotta already let Gregory walk free twice!

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dynamo1943 Feb. 7, 2012 @ 9 a.m.

Crooked disgraced lawyers who steal over 112K and liberal judges who let them go. Here is an interesting link about the Patricia Gregory case.

http://www.sandiegojudges.com/

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dynamo1943 Feb. 8, 2012 @ 7:41 p.m.

Patricia Gregory Theft Disbarment Case: Looking at the Cal State Bar court Dockets today and it looks like Patricia Gregory has a few more months before official disbarment! The Review Dept has made their decision. Anyone want to bet it is not disbarment? WOW! read link below.

http://www.statebarcourt.ca.gov/Portals/2/documents/opinions/Gregory.pdf

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GuestSpeaker Feb. 10, 2012 @ 2:39 p.m.

Just read the online california state bar's review department's decision on the disbarment of Patricia Gregory.Impressive. Gregory is done. Her freedom is gone to. Justice will prevail.

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GuestSpeaker Feb. 14, 2012 @ 6:54 p.m.

Former Attorney Patricia Gregory to be sentenced Feb 24, 2012 at the Vista Courthouse at 1:30 for the felony theft of over $112,000.00 from two victims. Stay tuned!

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SurfPuppy619 Feb. 14, 2012 @ 10:52 p.m.

Guestspeaker, we all know the case and the sentencing date-it has been posted repeatedly.

Aren't you the one who claimed that dork state bar judge Richard Honn was a great judge??? Please. Honn has the brain power of a chimp, as do most of the "state bar court" judges. BTW-state bar court is not a court-it is nothing more than an administrative arm of the state bar and the judges there are pathetic rubber stamps of 90% of what the state bar wants them to do.

BTW- it would be nice if you stopped cutting and pasting all the state bar court info and just typed up some of your OWN comments, original comments, that give YOUR opinion and insight, not what the SBC has posted all over their web page.

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