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Published: Tuesday, 3/31/2009

Disbarred Toledo attorney sentenced to 1 year in prison


Disbarred attorney Gregg Hickman was sentenced to one year in prison Tuesday for stealing thousands of dollars from a former client.

Hickman, 56, pleaded no contest March 2 to attempted grand theft after he stole about $65,000 from client Timothy Sebring.

According to Assistant County Prosecutor Bruce Sorg, Hickman was representing Mr. Sebring in a divorce and child custody issue when he was given $112,509.09 to put in his escrow account to protect the money during the proceedings. Between Dec. 1, 2004, and Dec. 21, 2007, Hickman paid out portions of money - $41,500 in 11 checks.

The remaining money was never returned, Mr. Sorg said.

Hickman, who was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1978, was disbarred in August by the Ohio Supreme Court. Twice before, in 2005 and 2007, he was suspended for negligent and deceitful conduct.

Hickman's attorney, Larry DiLabbio told Judge Stacy Cook that he had a check available for the victim in the amount of $55,000. There still remains some dispute about the remaining funds.

Judge Cook told Hickman that as an attorney, he was in a position of trust and that he was held to a higher standard because of that. She said that while he didn't use the money to fund a lavish lifestyle, he stole money.

"We still know above all that we aren't to steal to mend our problems and that's what happened here," she said.

Hickman was handcuffed and led out by court deputies. Mr. DiLabbio declined to comment after the sentencing.

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