BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A former attorney who was disbarred earlier this year pleaded no contest Tuesday to a felony embezzlement charge, according to court records.
Barbara McDaniel Harris, who also goes by the middle name of “Lynn,” is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 30, the Kern County Superior Court website says.
In ordering her disbarment several months ago, the California Supreme Court ruled she must pay restitution of more than $370,000 to a man and woman whose funds she allegedly misappropriated.
The allegations against Harris have their origins in 2004 when a Kern County couple entered into divorce proceedings in which Harris, who practiced family law, represented the wife. During the course of the proceedings, according to State Bar Court filings, it was ordered the family house be sold and the proceeds of the sale be placed in Harris’ client trust account for stipulated disbursements.
In July 2016, the couple filed a complaint with the State Bar after Harris failed to comply with court orders to produce an accounting of the money, according to the filings. The Office of Chief Trial Counsel of the State Bar held a trial July 2, 2019, and found Harris culpable of multiple allegations, including failing to maintain records of client property and moral turpitude by intentionally misappropriating hundreds of thousands of dollars, the filings said.