An Indianapolis lawyer who cheated an Alzheimer's patient out of tens of thousands of dollars and drained another family's trust was sentenced Thursday to eight years in prison.
Stacy H. Sheedy, 51, who is also an accountant, pleaded guilty to two counts of theft.
She apologized in court, saying she knows she shamed herself and all those in her profession.
Stacy Sheedy violated the trust of her clients, and has degraded the legal profession, a profession that people reach out to during some of their most vulnerable and distressing times of their lives, said Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry, who delivered the sentencing argument on behalf of the state. As an attorney and accountant, Stacy Sheedy had a fiduciary and ethical obligation to protect her clients. Not only did she fail her clients by her unconscionable acts, she knowingly and repeatedly abused a position of trust.
The investigation into Sheedy began last year after reported thefts from a guardianship account that supported an elderly widow with Alzheimer's disease who lived in a nursing home.
Investigators found Sheedy, who took responsibility for the guardianship account in June 2010, made at least 32 unauthorized withdrawals over the next six months totaling $172,000.
During the course of the investigation, investigators also examined Sheedy's role as trustee of a separate family trust, for which she had served as trustee since November 2007.
A brokerage account within the trust started at $501,000 when Sheedy became trustee, but was drained to only $168 during her tenure, investigators said.
When family members asked why they were no longer receiving brokerage statements from the account, Sheedy told them she had invested the funds in a bond fund and periodically sent them statements from the Wealth Council Indiana Small Cap Bond fund, investigators said.
According to the Indiana Secretary of State's Office, no such fund exists.
Investigators said Sheedy made unauthorized withdrawals of $412,500 from the trust account.
As part of the plea agreement, Sheedy also agreed to release three seized bank accounts, as well as seized "Lord of the Rings" and other movie memorabilia.
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