Attorney Pleads No Contest to Keeping Client’s Money
In a plea bargain under which he will be sentenced to prison for two years, a Woodland Hills attorney pleaded no contest Friday to pocketing $240,000 from the sale of a client’s property.
Bernard Krentzin, 49, entered the plea, legally equivalent to an admission of guilt, just as his preliminary hearing was about to begin in Van Nuys Municipal Court.
Krentzin, who was charged with one count of grand theft, could have been sent to prison for five years, Deputy Dist. Atty. Susan Schwartz said.
A condition of the plea bargain is that Krentzin make restitution.
Defense attorney Charles English said Krentzin already has repaid $90,000 to Paula Mintz of Woodland Hills. But Municipal Court Judge Aviva K. Bobb directed the Los Angeles County Probation Department to determine how much money is missing and how much has been repaid.
Bobb accepted the plea bargain subject to a probation investigation.
Krentzin, who has been free on his own recognizance, will be sentenced July 31 by Superior Court Judge Alan B. Haber.
Schwartz said Krentzin supervised the sale of a house Mintz owned a year ago, but did not tell the woman when it was sold. Mintz learned of the sale in December from the buyer and complained to authorities, the prosecutor said.
Loren McQueen of the State Bar of California said Friday that Krentzin was provisionally disbarred in June and resigned before a decision could be made on permanent disbarment.