Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Sherman Oaks Attorney Sentenced in Witness Tampering Case
By a MetNews Staff Writer
A Sherman Oaks attorney has been sentenced pursuant to his no contest plea to a felony count of attempted witness tampering, the District Attorney’s Office said. .
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Wesley sentenced Sean Erenstoft, 43, to three years of formal probation and 100 hours of community service on Monday. Erenstoft was additionally ordered to pay $9,028 in restitution to the victim.
Deputy District Attorney Paul Nunez of the Justice System Integrity Division handled the case. He said Erenstoft, while representing a defendant charged with stalking, filed a civil case against the victim in order to dissuade her from testifying against his client at a preliminary hearing, then offered to drop that suit in exchange for favorable testimony at his client’s sentencing.
Erenstoft was indicted in January and entered his plea in July. He faces potential disbarment after the State Bar reviews his case, prosecutors said.
The attorney, who was admitted to practice in 1992, has no record of public discipline, according to the State Bar website.
Erenstoft originally was charged with three felonies, including bribing a witness. Under a plea agreement, two of the criminal counts were dropped and he would not serve time behind bars.
The attorney told a reporter that the plea did not address his State Bar status. But disciplinary rules mandate disbarment when the member has been convicted of a felony that necessarily involves moral turpitude, although the member may apply for reinstatement after five years.
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