Ex-Lawyer Gets 10 Years in Fraud Case


Former San Diego lawyer Richard Degallegos, whose law practice was turned over three years ago to the State Bar of California, was sentenced Monday to 10 years in federal custody and ordered to repay defrauded clients.

U.S. District Judge Rudi M. Brewster sentenced Degallegos, 50, to the maximum term.

Degallegos had been named in April, 1989, on a 24-count indictment. He pleaded guilty last Nov. 28, the day his trial was due to begin, to three charges: mail fraud, filing a false claim for a tax refund and contempt of court.

If Degallegos had been convicted of all charges, he could have drawn up to 115 years in prison, said the prosecutor in the case, Assistant U.S. Atty. George Hardy.


The indictment alleged that, over a six-year period, Degallegos was involved in various criminal schemes.

He was accused of looting an estate he was appointed to administer, disobeying the orders of a bankruptcy judge, setting up an illegal rebating scheme while working as a life insurance salesman in 1984 and falsely claiming an income tax refund of about $85,000 in 1985.