On November 10, 2023, Manchester Ink Link reported that a disbarred New Hampshire attorney was sentenced to one year in New Hampshire State Prison for theft of nearly $360,000 from client funds.
David Dunn, 64, of Durham pleaded guilty in Hillsborough County Superior Court to four counts of misapplication of property. Judge David Anderson determined that some prison time was warranted despite Dunn repaying all stolen money, as the thefts occurred over five years. Dunn was sentenced to 5-10 years with four years suspended on each count, to be served concurrently.
Prosecutors had sought a sentence of 5-10 years with 2.5 years suspended, citing Dunn’s violation of his obligations as a trustee and misusing client funds just months after a 2015 censure. The defense argued for probation. The judge acknowledged the thefts were a significant violation but said Dunn’s repayment of all stolen money mitigated his sentencing.
Dunn addressed the court, taking responsibility but offering no excuses. He apologized but blamed his actions on being “overloaded” and depressed, employing the same excuse he had in 2015.
Records show Dunn embezzled $166,426 from the Barbara Tassie Trust, $162,846 from the Roger Martel Trust, and $30,439 from the Pitcher estate between 2016 and 2021. He was subsequently disbarred for professional conduct violations.
Dunn’s actions hurt numerous clients and beneficiaries, including Honor Flight New England, which aims to fly veterans to Washington DC at no cost. Joe Byron of Honor Flight told Dunn the stolen Pitcher estate funds would have helped veterans.
Dunn was a trustee for disabled Barbara Tassie’s daughter and began making unauthorized withdrawals from her trust in 2016, spending the money on law firm and personal expenses. He continued paying Tassie’s daughter from other sources until his actions were uncovered.
Dunn was also a trustee for the Roger Martel trust, from which he took $162,846 without authorization from 2016-2021, later reimbursing those funds.
Dunn’s violations as a trustee and continued misuse of client money over five years led to his prison sentence. Dunn will now serve one year in state prison for breaching client trust and using illness as an “excuse” for systematically stealing over five years. The sentence brings justice and closure to Dunn’s victims.
Source: Manchester Ink Link