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Supreme Court indefinitely suspends local lawyer

The Ohio Supreme Court on Tuesday indefinitely suspended the law license of Dayton area attorney Mark Allan Anthony, who embezzled more than $100,000 from his employer.

In a 4-3 ruling, the court ordered Anthony to repay $127,649.15 and complete a gambling addiction treatment program before he can apply to have his license reinstated. So far, the court has determined Anthony has paid only $13,425 in restitution.

While serving as business manager at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Lebanon for almost four years, Anthony embezzled church money to support his gambling addiction. Anthony left the business manager job in May 2006, after a church finance committee member noticed some accounting irregularities.

In 2007, Anthony pleaded guilty in Warren County Common Pleas Court to grand theft and was sentenced to a year in prison and ordered to pay restitution. After serving four months in prison, the court modified Anthony’s sentence to five years of community control.

Anthony’s law license had already been suspended because of his felony conviction, failure to register as an attorney and failure to complete continuing legal education requirements. Anthony’s last known business address was in Kettering.

The Ohio Supreme Court noted that Anthony has served his sentences, has not gambled since 2007 and has participated in Gamblers Anonymous for seven years.

Justices Paul Pfeifer, Terrence O’Donnell, Sharon Kennedy and William O’Neill joined the majority opinion while Justices Judith Lanzinger, Judith French and Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor dissented. In the dissenting opinion, Lanzinger said she would permanently disbar Anthony based on the court’s decision in a similar case.

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