A 53-year-old Silver Spring lawyer yesterday pleaded guilty in Montgomery County Circuit Court to two counts of misappropriating more than $9,000 from a client's escrow account in 1978.
Joe M. Kyle of 407 Windsor St. appeared before Frederick County Judge Samuel W. Barrick yesterday and pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor of fraudelent misappropriation by a fiduciary.
Kyle, who also consented to disbarment as a condition to his plea, faces up to five years in prison.
"I spent my whole life dealing with people who did dumb things," Kyle said after the hearing.
According to prosecutors, Kyle transferred more than $31,000 from the escrow account of the private estate of Edward Clark to his own office account between Jan. 12, 1977, and Nov. 8, 1978.
Kyle transferred all but $4,000 of the funds back to the account, prosecutors said, and then charged the estate an additional $5,000 in fees.
Kyle said yesterday he had stopped practicing law last June. He said he took "whatever sort of cases came in" to the suburban law office he helped to establish. Kyle has since taken a new job that he declined to describe for "fear of embarrassing my employer."