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Beach lawyer surrenders license

Virginia Beach attorney John W. Hart has surrendered his license to practice law rather than face allegations that he misappropriated more than $85,000.

According to Virginia State Bar documents, Hart became trustee of an irrevocable trust in 2004 and misappropriated at least $50,000 from the trust, although the total amount of the misappropriation is not yet known.

The documents cite three other incidents:

  • The disbursement of at least $25,000 from an estate that he served as counsel for his personal use and benefit.
  • The misappropriation of a $10,000 death benefit he received for an estate he was appointed to administer in March 2010.
  • The misappropriation of $5,500 of the $7,500 he received during the course of representing a client in a business dispute.

According to the VSB website, Hart’s license was suspended administratively on July 19 for failing to comply with a subpoena duces tecum issued by the bar but reinstated eight days later.

Hart is a graduate of the University of Richmond and its law school and had been licensed to practice law since 1986.

His listing in Martindale-Hubbell lists estate planning as among his areas of practice.

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