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Disbarred lawyer pleads guilty to $300K theft

A disbarred Prince George’s County lawyer faces up to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to stealing more than $300,000 in loan funds, according to Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler’s office.

Adigun Suheed Bakare pleaded guilty Friday in Prince George’s County Circuit Court to one count of felony theft over $500.

Bakare will be sentenced on Jan. 11 before Judge Melanie M. Shaw-Geter. In addition to facing up to 15 years in prison, Bakare could be fined.

An investigation by the Insurance Fraud Division of the Maryland Insurance Administration and the Office of the Attorney General revealed that on Feb. 14, 2006, and March 21, 2006, Bakare stole $334,568.47 in loan funds from Accredited Home Lenders.

When the theft occurred, Bakare was working as a lawyer and settlement agent at the Law Office of Bakare and Associates in Greenbelt.

The stolen funds were part of a real estate settlement, on which Bakare acted as the settlement agent. As a fiduciary, Bakare was required to disburse the funds according to the HUD-1 Settlement Statement, the attorney general said in a news release. Bakare was disbarred by consent on Aug. 22, 2006, for misappropriation of trust funds.

Assistant Attorney General Timothy S. Lake handled the case for the state.

Bakare’s attorneys, Jonathan L. Haskell and William Z. Haskell of Haskell & Zimmerman in Upper Marlboro, did not return calls for comment on Monday.