Former L.A. Superior Court Judge Huey P. Shepard Sentenced to Four Years for Thefts From Clients
From Staff and Wire Service Reports
A 69-year-old former Los Angeles Superior Court judge was sentenced yesterday to four years in state prison after pleading no contest to stealing from elderly clients, including a woman on life support.
Huey Percy Shepard was taken into custody immediately after he was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Patricia Titus.
“At long last, we have justice in this case,” said Deputy District Attorney Edward Miller.
Shepard pled no contest in April to one count of theft from an elder or dependent adult, one count of perjury, two counts of grand theft by embezzlement and one count of writing a bad check. He also admitted to the special allegations that the loss to victims was more than $50,00 and to an aggravated white collar crime allegation.
Although he was ordered to pay more than $200,000 in restitution, Shepard has not repaid a penny, Miller said.
He was hired as an attorney by the daughter of a 90-year-old woman on life support and embezzled $99,000, forcing the elderly woman to sell her home to pay for medical care. Shepard also bounced a $13,950 check to the woman’s convalescent home and falsely claimed that he made nearly $10,000 in payments for the victim’s care that actually were made by the daughter.
Prosecutors said Shepard also embezzled more than $62,000 from a probate estate and more than $12,000 from a client’s settlement check in a personal injury lawsuit between December 1992 and April 2002.
Shepard was a Superior Court judge from 1975 to 1981, sitting in juvenile court, and a Compton Municipal Court Judge from 1971 to 1975. He resigned from the State Bar in 2003 with disciplinary charges pending.
Shepard was appointed to the Compton court by then-Gov. Ronald Reagan and elevated by then-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 well as his cooperation and expressions of remorse, as mitigating factors.
Copyright 2005, Metropolitan News Company