SLO attorney accused of theft

June 17, 2017

FBI agents arrested a San Luis Obispo attorney Thursday on 28 counts of wire fraud related to allegations he stole approximately $250,000 from the trust account of a client to spend in gambling casinos. Stephen Ronca then pleaded not guilty and was released on $100,000 bail.

Ronca allegedly transferred money from a client’s living trust into his own account. He also withdrew some of the money while at casinos in Las Vegas, South Lake Tahoe and Santa Ynez, according to a federal indictment.

In addition, Ronca allegedly used property held in the trust as collateral for a loan. To pay off the loan, Ronca then sold the property located on Poinsettia Street in San Luis Obispo.

In March, the State Bar of California suspended Ronca’s law license for 30 days and placed him on probation for a year for gross negligence.

“Ronca stipulated that due to gross negligence, he mishandled his client trust account and failed to maintain sufficient funds to cover all client related payments from it, an act involving moral turpitude, dishonesty or corruption,” according to the State Bar of California. “In aggravation, there were multiple acts of wrongdoing. In mitigation, Ronca had practiced for 18 discipline-free years.”

Ronca’s trial is scheduled for Aug. 8 in Los Angeles. Each of the 28 fraud charges carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison.







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21 Comments

  1. AGDUDE says:

    Wow Now Thats Justice..30 whole days … 30 whole friggin days … What a slap he got .. Now thats got to make you feel warm & Fuzzy over the legal system Sweet Heart ! .. you little B*tch.. He needs to go to the Big house, and get probed.. LOL

    (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down
  2. copperhead says:

    This very thing was on an episode of American greed last night.

    (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
  3. Jorge Estrada says:

    An officer of the court as was his dad.

    (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
    • hellodolliered says:

      Jorge, His Dad was never an officer of the court.
      His bother, however is an attorney in SLO, but he is not an officer of the court.

      (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
      • pathologicalgamblingaddict says:

        You better look it up. Officer of the Court = lawyer (anyone who can practice law).

        (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  4. The Identarian says:

    He’ll move to Guam and open a practice there. I lived there and met some attorney’s who did just that. “De-barred in Cali and here I am in Guam. Now. what can I help you with?” Guam is a colorful place.

    (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down
  5. Ginormica7 says:

    The perfect storm of unsuspecting clients, lazy DA, and unethical attorney. Do not think for a moment this is an isolated case in SLO. There are at least a few others, with long tenure in SLO, who just haven’t been disciplined. Yet. This may be the first disciplinary action by the State Bar but that doesn’t mean it is the first ever event. Kind of a big swing for a first-timer.

    (7) 7 Total Votes - 7 up - 0 down
  6. 1965buick says:

    Will he re-pay the client the 250k?

    (8) 10 Total Votes - 9 up - 1 down
  7. womanwhohasbeenthere says:

    I am shocked the State Bar did anything at all! But don’t worry, he’ll get off all the felony charges: they will be dropped to one misdemeanor punishable with a fine, not prison time, and he’ll be home free.

    It’s hard to believe someone would be a straight arrow for all these years and then do this; usually crooks start off with small cheating and get bolder with success.

    (12) 16 Total Votes - 14 up - 2 down
    • pathologicalgamblingaddict says:

      Yeah, the State Bar is nothing but one big joke. There are all kinds of complaints at the State Bar on Ronca. What an embarrassment and deceitful DOG!. Nothing but one big FAT Liar Liar with his pants on fire!!! Get ready to burn in the butt!

      (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  8. smiley says:

    The State Bar really whupped his ass! 30 day suspension and a years probation for 28 counts of bla bla bla. So glad they are looking out for us consumers. Keep up the good work and collect a fat pension on us taxpayers when you retire. This guy gets out of jail and he will be fleecing your old mom in no time.

    (33) 41 Total Votes - 37 up - 4 down
  9. Kidholm says:

    And for that, the only disciplinary action handed down by the State Bar was a 30 day suspension?!

    (28) 36 Total Votes - 32 up - 4 down
    • MrRearden says:

      I’m certain for this fine upstanding attorney his dog ate his client’s papers…but before you go all pit bull on the dude let me remind you he hasn’t been convicted on the 28 counts yet. The State Bar will no doubt use any conviction as a way to permanently keep him from practicing law. Innocent until proven an attorney…

      (14) 20 Total Votes - 17 up - 3 down
      • Kidholm says:

        The Bar has already completed its investigation and levied its disciplinary action. Case closed. It’s not going administer additional punishment after the criminal action is completed.

        (8) 16 Total Votes - 12 up - 4 down
    • pathologicalgamblingaddict says:

      One big crock of CRAP!

      (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down

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