Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Wednesday, September 10, 2003


Page 2


Married Lawyers Plead Guilty in Theft of More Than $1 Million From City of Hope Hospital




A pair of lawyers pled guilty yesterday to felony charges resulting from a theft of more than $1 million from the City of Hope in 1996 and 1997, the District Attorney’s Office said.

The pleas by Joseph W. Rohn, 41, and his wife, Julia E. Castlen, 40, were entered as the couple’s preliminary hearing was underway and were announced in a release late yesterday afternoon.

Deputy District Attorney Michael Kraut, who prosecuted the case with Deputy District Attorney Allan Fork, said Rohn pled guilty to felony charges of conspiracy to commit grand theft, grant theft, and tax evasion. Castlen, he said, pled guilty only to tax evasion but will be jointly responsible for restitution of more than $1.2 to City of Hope.

The plea bargain requires that Rohn be sentenced to three years and eight months in prison, the prosecutor said, while Castlen is to serve five years’ probation and perform 2,000 hours of community service.

Prosecutors said the pair used their expertise in real estate transactions to fleece the Duarte-based cancer center while Rohn was representing it. Told by his supervisor to sell off a number of assets in an “all-or-nothing” bulk sale, Rohn swindled the center through a series of transactions involving a company controlled by him and his wife, the release said.


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