Indicted and under investigation on accusations of unlawfully taking his clients’ money, Houston personal injury attorney Steven Bearman continues to practice law in his downtown office. But now his hours are set by the court. Bearman was indicted last month on a charge of misapplication of fiduciary duty, a first-degree felony punishable by up to 99 years or life in prison. He was freed on $75,000 bond and ordered to wear an electronic ankle monitor. A judge ruled Wednesday that Bearman can spend 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. each weekday at work. The increased work hours were agreed to by prosecutors, who are seeking restitution of about $750,000 for at least 15 former clients. Harris County Assistant District Attorney Lester Blizzard said Bearman requested to work more, to make more money. Blizzard said he would like to see Bearman able to pay the restitution, should he be found guilty. But, the prosecutor said, Bearman is accused of keeping his clients’ settlement money to finance a “luxury lifestyle” for more than two years. He said Bearman in July 2004 began settling his clients lawsuits without their knowledge and keeping the money. “Their cases have been settled, and they haven’t seen any money from the various settlements they’ve had,” Blizzard said after Wednesday’s brief hearing. He said the missing money totaled about $750,000 owed to 15 clients. And, he said, the investigation continues. “There are 15 at this point, but more and more people are coming forward as the message gets out.” Blizzard said.
NOTE: Prosecutors also say Bearman recently invited several Houston Texans players to hang out in his suite at the Toyota Center for a Rockets game…they that’s the lifestyle he was supporting with his clients settlements.
COURTESY: THE HOUSTON CHRONICLE