Leonard S. Blondes, a former Maryland state legislator, was indicted by a Montgomery County jury yesterday on misappropriations, embezzlement and larceny charges in connection with his dealings with two law clients.
Blondes, a Bethesda attorney, said in a telephone interview that the is innocent of any wrongdoing.
The county Circuit Court grand jury indicted him on two counts each of fradulent misappropriation by a fiduciary (one who holds a trust), embezzlement, larceny after trust and commingling of escrow funds.
Conviction could result in penalities of up to 60 years in prison and fines up to $12,000.
Four counts of the indictment allege that Blondes, acting as attorney for a man who was selling part of a building to another man, took the second man's $10,000 downpayment, put it in his own private bank account and refused to return it when the business deal fell through.
In the four other counts, Blondes is accused of receiving $629 from a client's insurance company to pay bills arising from an auto accident and failing to pay the bills.
In the interview, Blondes said the $10,000 down-payment is now in an escrow account at the Suburban Trust Co. awaiting the outcome of a suit filed in D.C. Superior Court.
He also said that "to my knowledge all the funds in the (accident) case were disbursed."
Blondes, who served in the House of Delegates from 1963 to 1970, was at the center of a drawn-out bribery case in the early 1970s.
He was convicted in 1971 of demanding and accepting $5,000 from the Montgomery County Bowling Proprietors Association during this term to seek a change in the state law that prohibited the sale of beer in county bowling alleys.
The 1971 convicted was overturned in 1972, and Blondes was tried and convicted again in 1973. The second conviction was overturned by the Maryland Court of Appeals," the state's highest court, in 1975 because, the court ruled the state had violated Blondes' right not to be tried twice on the same charge.