Friday, November 09, 2012

Disbarred lawyer ordered back to jail after allegedly trashing former office with sledgehammer and drawing penises on walls

A disbarred personal injury attorney must return to jail after allegedly trashing his Dallas law office and drawing penises on the walls, a judge has ruled. Thomas Corea, of Palmer, Texas, was arrested on Aug. 30 after a Dallas County grand jury indicted him on four first-degree felonies: theft of more than $200,000; misapplication of more than $200,000 by a fiduciary; securing the execution of a document by deception worth more than $200,000; and fraudulent use and possession of identifying information.

"Corea is accused of stealing settlement funds from his clients' trust accounts, using false information to secure financial loans, and stealing identities to apply for various loans and credit cards," the Dallas County District Attorney's Office said in a statement at the time. Having since been released bond, Corea now faces civil complaints from several of his clients, alleging malpractice and withholding settlement money. In October, an evidentiary panel with the State Bar of Texas ordered Corea's disbarment based on the allegations of professional misconduct.

State District Judge Mike Snipes ordered Corea back to jail on Wednesday after hearing testimony about Corea's eviction from a Design District commercial space on Oct. 31. Doug Molney, the president of the real estate firm that represents the building, testified that when he inspected the building on Nov. 1, he found "complete destruction" and "penis graffiti on every single wall throughout the building." Molney says his name was written next to several of the penises.

He testified that it appeared someone used a sledgehammer to smash several of the granite countertops. Light fixtures, doors and appliances were either allegedly destroyed or removed. There is at least $100,000 worth of damage, Molney said. Prosecutors showed the judge several photos of the trashed office space, including a derogatory message about an Arizona judge in an unrelated case, and the judge's phone number with a 505 area code phone number. "He destroyed that building," Assistant District Attorney Jacob Harris said. "I doubt seriously there are any random vagrants in the Dallas area that are familiar with area code 505." During Molny's testimony, Snipes told Corea to stop "making faces at the witness."


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