BECKLEY – Beckley attorney Richard E. Hardison Jr. has been arrested again, this time facing additional charges for using a client’s settlement money to pay his bond.
Hardison is already facing drug and embezzlement charges.
At the July 21 pre-trial hearing, Hardison was arrested for the additional count of embezzlement, as well as obtaining money, property and serves under false pretenses and fraudulent schemes. He is being held in Southern Regional Jail with a $165,000 bond, according to the Beckley Register-Herald.
While Hardison was out on bond, he received a $15,000 settlement check on July 1 from one of his clients and directed his secretary to deposit the check into her personal bank account, according to the criminal complaint.
Hardison then directed her to pay his bond using the settlement check money, the criminal complaint states.
The remaining money was taken from the secretary’s account in cash and sent via electronic transfer to Hardison.
Hardison’s client claimed she had no idea her case had been settled, and that she had not signed a check nor a settlement agreement. She had also told Hardison not to settle for $15,000, according to the complaint.
Raleigh County Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tom Truman requested a bond revocation hearing, which is scheduled for July 25.
Earlier this month, Raleigh Circuit Judge Robert Burnside ordered Hardison’s bond be increased from $10,000 to $75,000. The bond had been set at $10,000 after he was charged in September 2012 for delivery of cocaine and conspiracy.
Hardison was then charged with two counts of embezzlement after he allegedly embezzled a $95,758 settlement check from a victim in July 2014 and a $27,500 settlement check from a second victim in September 2015.
On May 31, Hardison was charged with felony embezzlement while he was awaiting trial for the 2012 charges.