Disbarred Riverview lawyer pleads guilty to grand theft

TAMPA — A disbarred Riverview lawyer, once a prosecutor, pleaded guilty to grand theft Monday in Hillsborough Circuit Court, accepting a plea deal that calls for her to serve three years of probation.

Jessica Ann Bennett, 35, was accused of withdrawing $50,800 from the Merrill Lynch account of Daniel McCoy, whose wife had hired her to handle their divorce. The couple reconciled and complained to the Florida Bar, which disciplined Bennett and ordered her to pay restitution.

The Hillsborough State Attorney's Office declined to prosecute Bennett, citing insufficient evidence, but sought appointment of a special prosecutor after McCoy's attorney suggested there was a conflict of interest. Bennett had worked at the office from 2003 to early 2006.

Pinellas-Pasco Assistant State Attorney Gregory Groger prosecuted the grand theft charge, which is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years.

Disbarred Riverview lawyer pleads guilty to grand theft 04/23/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 8:28pm]

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