A Washington-based attorney who admitted in January to stealing more than $100,000 intended for his clients has been sentenced to six months in prison, followed by six months of house arrest.
Deairich Hunter was sentenced Thursday for pilfering payments to settle disability and personal injury claims by his clients. As part of his punishment, Hunter was ordered by U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell to pay restitution of $253,549 and forfeit $73,901.
From 2003 to 2009, Hunter was hired by clients in disputes arising from disability and personal injury claims. Many of the clients agreed he was entitled to one third of the recovery, according to court papers. Hunter failed to notify some of his clients, however, keeping settlement money for himself. Hunter was disbarred in 2009. Hunter pleaded guilty in January to theft or embezzlement related to health care.