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Former legal secretary admits stealing $92,930

A two-person law office can create a false sense of security, especially if the second person is a long-term employee with a reputation for competence and integrity.

Harvey Latney Jr., the part-time commonwealth’s attorney in Caroline County who maintains a practice in Richmond, has found that out the hard way.

Shelia Mae Boone, Latney’s secretary for 27 years, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a federal bank fraud count related to the theft of at least $92,930 from an estate administered by Latney.

Boone’s attorney says that’s all his client took, but an attorney for Latney insists Boone stole about three times that amount from estates administered by Latney and from law firm accounts.

An estate is suing Latney for more than $200,000, and he is contending that he can tap a legal malpractice insurance policy with limits of $100,000 per occurrence and $300,000 in total coverage. The insurer, ALPS, has responded that a conversion exclusion bars the claim.

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