Pismo Beach attorney pleads to embezzlement

March 3, 2012

William Peter Terhune

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.



  1. Spirit Filled says:

    God Bless him and his family. And the gentleman’s estate and person’s involved with this guy. $275.000.00 is a lot for a small business loan. I think he went overboard when he thought he was getting away with it. Bad karma evident.

    Blessings to all.

    (3) 5 Total Votes - 4 up - 1 down
  2. sloweb says:

    I had the misfortune to do business with him, He was as incompetent as he was dishonest.

    Kudos to the paralegal.

    (22) 22 Total Votes - 22 up - 0 down
  3. bobfromsanluis says:

    How sad; a seemingly intelligent person apparently thought he could do this and not get caught.
    “Character is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking. There are too many people who think that the only thing that’s right is to get by, and the only thing that’s wrong is to get caught.”

    (17) 19 Total Votes - 18 up - 1 down

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