This is an excerpt from my new book "Grace Under Pressure" coming next spring as an Amazon exclusive for kindle. This material is copyright pending under case #1-2601933851 , any unauthorized use will be prosecuted by the author.
I had always done what I thought was right. How could I have gotten caught up in all this! How is it possible that the Bar didn't see what I did, what I did for my client. I did what every attorney is supposed to do, keep quiet. When they asked me to wear a wire I said no. I guess that wasn’t the right answer.
I kept my mouth shut, and my award was that they went after me. These people were supposed to protect me. I should be rewarded, not implicated.
Renee, she is my friend. They are accusing me of stealing from my friend. I took her to the movies and baseball games for heaven’s sake. I took care of her cats. I can't believe they would make this all up. I read the lies and could barely continue.
"An Elk Grove lawyer already indicted in federal court for conspiracy to commit mail fraud was charged last month by the State Bar with 36 counts of misconduct in which his victims ranged from desperate clients seeking bankruptcy protection to a legal insurance provider.
SEAN PATRICK GJERDE (#217467), 35, misappropriated more than $80,000 from the beneficiary of a trust for which he served as trustee, engaged in a scheme to defraud a legal insurance provider, repeatedly violated a bankruptcy court order, performed incompetently, failed to return unearned fees, lied on court documents and even forged the names of his partner and a client, according to State Bar documents. Many of the charges involved moral turpitude, dishonesty or corruption.
In one of the bar matters, Gjerde, took over as the trustee for the Wheeler Trust. Over a period of almost two years, he misappropriated more than $84,000 from the trust, whose sole beneficiary was Renee Wheeler. The main asset of the trust was a home in which Ms. Wheeler resided. He transferred the Wheeler home to himself, an act not in the interest of the Wheeler Trust and “to the detriment of Wheeler,” according to State Bar documents, and forced Wheeler out of her home. When he didn’t pay the mortgage payments, a lien was put on the proceeds of the sale, bringing the worth of the house from $135,000 to $7,000.
Gjerde, who had billed himself as an experienced bankruptcy lawyer to clients but told a bankruptcy trustee he was not experienced, was ordered by the court not to take any bankruptcy cases without judicial permission. In violation of that order, he continued to take cases but put fellow attorney James Chandler’s name on the court documents, and still did shoddy or incomplete work the bar alleges. A hearing was set late last month in the Sacramento bankruptcy court on three contempt of court motions to address Gjerde’s violation of multiple court orders.
State Bar prosecutors also said Gjerde hired Daniel Tichy as a partner at his firm, Northern California Law Center, for the specific purpose of concealing Gjerde’s name so that he could continue fraudulent billing practices.
In other cases, Gjerde pocketed fees, refused to return the money when no services were performed and then fabricated an agreement that he sent to the State Bar when the bar asked for details about the cases, according to the charges. He also failed to maintain fees in a client trust account as ordered by the court, told the court he never received fees that he in fact did receive, failed to notify the bar that he was employing a suspended lawyer and overbilled or double-billed one client, according to the charges.
He also is charged with billing ARAG, a legal insurance plan provider, for services he never performed. In June, Gjerde stipulated in a separate State Bar discipline matter to fraudulently billing ARAG and failing to reimburse clients for unearned fees and agreed to accept a 60-day actual suspension. The bar placed a “consumer alert” on Gjerde’s page on its website, warning consumers that he has been charged with major misappropriation of client funds.
Gjerde also is a defendant in a federal case. According to a federal indictment filed last year, Gjerde played a part in an elaborate scheme that defrauded banks and mortgage lenders of $5.5 million by providing false information about loan applicants’ employment and income. The potential homeowners, also in on the scheme, would apply for mortgages and then default on the payments after all involved ― real estate brokers and their employees, a mortgage company employee, the owner of a nonprofit organization ― got their fees and kickbacks. Gjerde used his position as a tax lawyer to confirm, even though the information was false, that he had done the tax forms of the applicants and that their income and years of employment were as stated on the applications. The 48-count federal indictment against 10 defendants includes charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and make false statements in mortgage applications.
Gjerde said he is suing the bar for fabricating charges and issued a statement demanding that members of the board of governors and the chief prosecutor be disbarred. “The State Bar and the Feds go on fishing expeditions to target minnows in order to try and capture whales,” Gjerde said. “The minnows, like me, are innocent.”"
My reward for keeping my mouth shut. All the rats get to stay free. My attorney lied to me. He said that everyone got a longer sentence, but the truth is only one other of the 10 people who were indicted went to prison.
This is what an attorney is supposed to do, they are supposed to go to prison to protect a client. But the Bar is supposed to have your back and they instead tagged teamed up.
I know that Mendez used ex parte communication with the Bar and the US Attorney against me. I have the evidence, I need more to make it official. With all my time over two years of prison I can do FOIA requests and get to the truth.
I sit in my cell, waiting, I get a copy of the paper, I can barely accept what I am reading if it wasn't for where I am I wouldn't. The Sacramento Bee, a paper that exulted me previously for all my good work.
"SACRAMENTO, CA—United States District Judge John A. Mendez sentenced Sean Patrick Gjerde, 37, of Elk Grove, today to two-and-a-half years in prison for conspiring to commit mortgage fraud and make false statements in loan applications, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. Gjerde pleaded guilty to the charges on December 18, 2012.
According to court documents, Gjerde, an attorney, took part in a mortgage fraud scheme by providing false income verifications. He was hired by Hoda Samuel, the owner and operator of with Liberty Real Estate & Investment Company, a real estate agency, and Liberty Mortgage Company, a mortgage brokerage business. Samuel was convicted after a jury trial and recently sentenced to 10 years in prison. Eight others were charged in the scheme. Seven other co-defendants in the scheme pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.
According to Gjerde’s plea agreement, certain Liberty clients falsely told lending institutions that they were self-employed and made incomes far in excess of what they actually earned. Gjerde wrote letters to the lenders stating that he was an attorney with a masters in taxation who had prepared individual tax returns for the clients and could attest that they were employed as they stated in their loan applications. When lenders called Gjerde to follow up on the fraudulent letters, Gjerde falsely confirmed the information he had provided. On at least one occasion, he signed a false tax return that was submitted to a lender to establish inflated income. Gjerde admitted writing approximately 20 fraudulent letters.
As of April 2012, Gjerde had 18 cases pending against him before the California State Bar Court. Each of these contained allegations of misconduct, and none of them were related to the mortgage fraud charged in the federal indictment. On April 18, 2012, the State Bar Court determined that the allegations were likely to be upheld in a majority of the pending cases and involuntarily enrolled Gjerde as an inactive member of the bar.
In sentencing Gjerde, Judge Mendez said that Gjerde willfully lied to back up the lies in the loan applications, and that as a lawyer, “He should have shut this whole thing down. That’s his obligation as a lawyer. He didn’t do that. He went along with it.” Judge Mendez also noted the allegations pending before the State Bar Court and the number of former clients who had been affected by Gjerde’s conduct.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and IRS-Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Philip A. Ferrari and Todd A. Pickles are prosecuting the case."
Ferrari should be the one in prison, not me. He communicated with the judge ex parte and then used someone who was trying to blackmail me to testify against me at my sentencing. I wasted so much time gathering letters to help me. All for not, Mendez could care less. I guess it is true what they say about Judges being last in their law school class, I wonder if this asshole ever even passed the Bar.
It’s hard seeing one's life being turned upside down. I climbed down a rabbit hole and I can't seem to find my way out.
My first celle (Bunkie is not there term for jail but it is for prison camp) was would be termed a wood. Wood being white, hence why I was bunked up with him. His name was Spencer. Unfortunately for me he didn't have much insight in how to handle jail. He was picked up by police when he was wondering down the street high on meth. The first day in my cell he was very active, talking about his life and family. Apparently his father was a judge in a different county and was ashamed of him. This bothered Spencer greatly, I could see the pain his father had caused him. I felt some sympathy for him, unfortunately he didn't share sympathy for me, and apparently white collar criminals are not highly thought of in jail. This would hold true of the Sheriff's as well, on several occasions I was called a fagot or kike. Obviously they knew who I was, I had worked for the District Attorney's office and was grateful despite the harsh words that I wasn't put in solitary.