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Va. Beach lawyer indicted on fraud charges

A Virginia Beach lawyer has been indicted on federal charges related to the alleged theft of life insurance proceeds that were intended to benefit the minor children of a man who died in 2006.

Brian Gay, 52, was scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Norfolk today, when the indictment was made public. The grand jury returned charges of mail and wire fraud and making a false statement to federal agents last week.

According to the indictment, Gay drafted a will and a trust agreement for Daniel M. Woodside in March 2006 naming Gay as executor of his estate and as trustee of  a trust for his three children.  The trust was to have been funded with $520,000 in life insurance proceeds from two different policies.

Woodside died in April 2006 and Gay qualified as executor of his estate and received the insurance proceeds as trustee of the trust.

The indictment alleges that Gay wrote 10 checks totaling $310,000 to himself or to cash from those proceeds.

In a related matter, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked Gay’s license to practice law on Friday on administrative charges.

According to VSB documents, the bar issued a subpoena duces tecum to Gay last year for all documents related to the Woodside estate and any trust associated with it after receiving “a fiduciary and trust complaint.” The disciplinary board suspended Gay’s license on Sept. 24 after he did not provide the documents or appear at a hearing to respond to the noncompliance

Last week’s revocation was based on Gay’s failure to notify clients of the administrative suspension.

In an apparently unrelated proceeding, the board had suspended Gay’s license for 60 days in January 2010 based on its finding that he had delayed filing the divorce of a woman for over a year because she had not paid his fee. The woman contended that she was unable to do so until the divorce was final and she would have access to a share of her husband’s pension.

Gay appealed the suspension to the Supreme Court of Virginia, but the court dismissed it in an unpublished order.

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