Disbarred law firm Robert Menard, who prosecutors say pocketed or mishandled as a lot as $1 million from customers and his ex-law husband or wife, was sentenced to six months in the Household of Correction Thursday.
In addition, Milwaukee County Decide Milton Childs also sentenced the the moment-popular lawyer to four several years in prison, adopted by four years of prolonged supervision. The choose, nevertheless, stayed the jail time. He also requested Menard to do 100 hrs of group provider.
The sentence was imposed near the finish of a approximately two-hour sentencing listening to in the course of which four of Menard’s victims, some sobbing or keeping back again tears, told the court docket Menard triggered them economic and psychological discomfort. A tearful Menard apologized for his actions — an apology the choose said he accepted on behalf of Milwaukee County.
Menard in January pleaded guilty to 4 felony counts of theft and embezzlement for bilking purchasers and his now-previous regulation husband or wife.
On Thursday about two dozen people today sat in the courtroom’s gallery, with Menard’s family and good friends on the still left facet of the courtroom and the victims and their supporters on the other facet of the aisle.
They listened quietly as a trembling and softly sobbing Menard pled for leniency and acknowledged he broke the legislation and violated his oath as an legal professional.
“I betrayed the have faith in of my consumers, good friends, household and the career,” Menard stated. “I am ashamed and will walk a better and sincere route.”
Assistant District Attorney Nicolas Heitman urged Childs to sentence Menard, 59, to 4 years in prison for stealing from his consumers.
“His regulation diploma was a instrument to steal,” Heitman mentioned.
At just one level, the prosecutor held up a copy of the oath attorneys choose and tore it in fifty percent.
“That is what (Menard) did so lots of occasions,” Heitman stated. “He employed his position, his training, his position to steal — just like a robber utilizes a gun.”
In an job interview following the listening to Heitman declined to say specifically how substantially revenue Menard is thought to have stolen, indicating the determine would be identified later on at a restitution listening to. Menard was in the beginning charged in 2019 and 2020 with pocketing about $1 million from shoppers and his previous legislation business lover.
Menard had practiced regulation for about 30 several years and was a longtime lover in the organization of Derzon & Menard. The now-defunct organization was a repeated advertiser on sporting activities radio and billed itself as the law organization for “average Joe” and applied the fictional “Joe Bob” as its mascot.
Childs observed that several of the customers in Menard’s now-defunct law business were being already hurting mainly because they experienced been wounded on the task and employed him to tackle worker’s compensation statements.
“For the most component, the victims ended up (previously) victims of a little something else” when Menard stole from them.
Menard’s legal professional, Craig Mastantuono, argued Menard has already been punished, noting that his shopper is no for a longer time working towards regulation because he was disbarred in 2020.
“The loss of one’s job is challenging to limit,” Mastantuono reported.
While Choose Child’s accepted Menard’s apology, the felon’s uncle did not and his ex-regulation spouse did not.
“Our young children skipped options instantly simply because of him,” mentioned Alan Derzon, his previous legislation associate. Derzon reported in a sufferer effect statement that he dropped $286,796 to Menard.
Philip Menard mentioned his nephew’s actions caused a rift in the relatives and that Robert Menard continue to owed him $144,000. He stated he requested his nephew a couple of years in the past to stand for him in a auto incident circumstance that resulted in a $500,000 settlement for the uncle.
In 2018 Philip Menard instructed the Journal Sentinel he had not seen a penny of the settlement. Philip Menard and his wife, Joyce Fletcher-Menard, sued their nephew in 2018 and received a $329,333 judgment.
“I required to think him and imagine he would not consider edge of me,” Philip Menard explained in court Thursday. He added that his nephew “should devote extra than 3 years in prison.”
“A man we reliable experienced obviously taken benefit of us,” Fletcher-Menard wrote in a statement to the courtroom.
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This posting initially appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Robert Menard sentenced to six months in jail for theft, embezzlement