BECKLEY – Raleigh Circuit Judge Robert Burnside granted a motion to revoke Beckley attorney Richard E. Hardison Jr.’s bond after he was charged with an additional count of embezzlement this week.
The Beckley Register-Herald reported that Hardison, who was already facing charges of delivery of cocain and embezzlement, was charged with another count of embezzlement July 28 after he directed his secretary to use a portion of a client’s $15,000 settlement check to pay his bond.
Hardison was also charged with obtaining money, property and services by false pretenses and fraudulent schemes.
Raleigh Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tom Truman made a motion for Hardison's bond to be revoked because of his commission of additional crimes while out on bond, as well as his likelihood to commit additional felonies.
Hardison's attorney, David White, asked the court not to revoke his client's bond or to set a blanket bond to cover all pending charges. White also noted that Hardison has strong ties to the community and would appear at all future court proceedings, according to the Beckley Register-Herald.
Burnside granted Truman’s motion, stating that it was not an issue of his appearance in future proceedings, but about the likelihood that he would continue committing crimes while out on bond.
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.
Earlier this month, Burnnside 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.