Friday, October 1, 2004
Former Superior Court Judge Huey P. Shepard Charged With Embezzling $99,000 From Elderly Woman
From Staff and Wire Service Reports
A former Los Angeles Superior Court judge charged with embezzling a total of $176,000 from four clients of his law practice, including an elderly woman on life support, was arrested today.
Huey Percy Shepard, 68, was held in lieu of $226,000 bail, said Deputy District Attorney Edward Miller of his office’s Justice System Integrity Division.
If convicted of all the charges, Shepard faces up to 10 years and four months in state prison.
Shepard, who was a Superior Court judge from 1975 to 1981, sitting in juvenile court, and a Compton Municipal Court Judge from 1971 to 1975, is accused of embezzling $99,000 from a 90-year-old woman on life support. Prosecutors say she was forced to sell her home for medical care.
Shepard — hired as an attorney to help the woman’s daughter with her mother’s conservatorship — allegedly bounced a $13,950 check to a convalescent hospital, and falsely claimed in court documents that he made nearly $10,000 in payments for the victim’s care.
Those payments were made by the victim’s daughter, according to prosecutors.
Shepard also is accused of embezzling more than $62,000 from a probate estate and more than $12,000 from a client’s settlement check in a personal injury lawsuit.
The thefts allegedly occurred between December 1992 and April 2002.
Shepard, who resigned from the State Bar with charges pending against him last year, is charged with one count of theft from an elder or dependent adult, one count of perjury, four counts of grand theft by embezzlement, one count of preparing a false document and one count of writing a bad check.
Shepard was appointed to the Compton court by Gov. Ronald Reagan and elevated by Gov. Jerry Brown. He served as a Compton Municipal Court referee from 1965 to 1968 and as a commissioner of that court from 1968 to 1971.
He resigned from the Superior Court in October of 1981, refusing to state his reasons, and established a law practice in Torrance. Shepard was born in Texas but attended Long Beach Poly High School and earned his law degree at UCLA.
In July of 2001 he was suspended from practicing law for six months after he stipulated to using his client trust account for business and personal purposes, but the suspension was stayed. The State Bar found the misuse did not harm his clients, and treated his service as a judicial officer as a mitigating factor.
Copyright 2004, Metropolitan News Company