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Bakersfield attorney implicated in six-figure fraud

A Bakersfield attorney has been charged with taking nearly $1 million from a client and then falsely telling a State Bar investigator she had paid back the money.

The State Bar recently put a consumer alert on Heather J.C. Stanley’s profile page. Stanley, 45, [bar #185108] faces possible disbarment if the charges are proven in State Bar Court and disbarment is approved by the California Supreme Court.

In August 2010 and May 2011, Stanley received two checks on behalf of a client totaling $1,052,311.57. In 2013, she took $955,000 for her own purposes, according to the disciplinary charges brought by the State Bar’s Office of Chief Trial Counsel in December.

Stanley also ignored eight requests from her client to account for the money and when confronted by a State Bar investigator falsely stated that she had purchased cashier’s checks and returned the money to the client, according to the charges.

The State Bar posts consumer alerts online when lawyers are accused of misappropriating $25,000 or more from their clients. Anyone who believes they have been the victim of attorney misconduct is urged to file a complaint with the State Bar.