Pismo Beach attorney pleads to embezzlement
March 3, 2012
The Pismo Beach attorney accused of embezzling more than a quarter-million dollars from a deceased client’s estate plead no contest on Thursday to a charge of embezzlement.
William Peter Terhune, 57, is accused of transferring nearly $275,000 from the estate of Junko S. Hensling to his private business account. The estate’s beneficiary resides in Japan and had yet to receive any payments when Terhune was arrested in July.
Previously, in response to a complaint filed by his former paralegal on behalf of the Japanese beneficiary, the attorney contended the funds were transferred for loans that were intended as investments for the estate. The paralegal said Terhune had told her he took the funds because he was unable to get a small business loan.
In July, the State Bar seized Terhune’s law practice and has since disbarred him.
Judge Barry LaBarbera scheduled Terhune’s sentencing for May 10.