Ex-Lawyer Charged With Stealing From Estate
Sunday, September 9, 2007
A former Leonardtown lawyer, accused in a lawsuit of mishandling a large estate in 2001, was arrested Wednesday on four theft-related counts and one count of breach of trust as a lawyer, St. Mary's County authorities said.
Julian J. Izydore turned himself in and pleaded not guilty during a brief court appearance Wednesday morning, his attorney, Robert H. Harvey, said. Izydore was released on his own recognizance and has returned to Georgia, where he lives, Harvey said.
A St. Mary's grand jury returned an indictment against Izydore on Aug. 15, according to court records. The indictment charges Izydore with three counts of theft greater than $500 in 2001, one count of theft scheme and one count of breach of trust related to his handling of the estate, according to court records.
Izydore was named in a lawsuit filed in 2005 in St. Mary's Circuit Court by Joseph P. Colonna, personal representative of the estate of Gail I. Wood.
Wood died Dec. 30, 2000, the complaint said. Randall J. Wood then hired Izydore to act as lawyer for the estate and trustee under Gail Wood's will, according to the lawsuit.
Izydore liquidated a money market account in Wood's name for $839,537.91 and began distributing the proceeds to her beneficiaries, the lawsuit said. During the process, Izydore and his wife borrowed $20,000 from one of the beneficiaries, according to the lawsuit. That loan was never repaid and has been in default since April 10, 2004, the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit alleged that Izydore made fraudulent accountings in the estate. Randall Wood sought an explanation of Izydore's handling of the estate "for years and has yet to receive an explanation from him," the lawsuit said.
On March 29, Circuit Court Judge James J. Lombardi ruled for the plaintiffs, awarding them $219,733.85, according to court records. Izydore was not present at the proceeding, the records show.
The original lawsuit also named as defendants Philip H. Dorsey III and the Dorsey Law Firm of Leonardtown, where Izydore once worked. At the March 29 proceeding, all claims against Dorsey, the Dorsey Law Firm and Dorsey and Associates were dismissed with prejudice, according to court records.
This summer, the Maryland Court of Appeals disbarred Izydore after he signed a petition consenting to the action. Under the terms of the agreement that led to the July 31 order, Izydore said he had not practiced law in Maryland since late 2005.