Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.
QUESTION: Whatever happened to the lawyers Nikolai Tehin and his wife, Pamela Stevens, who were charged with embezzling the million-dollar settlement obtained on behalf of a Sacramento infant who suffered birth injuries?
Submitted by: Kathy, Davis
ANSWER: Although California Bar Journal discipline summaries indicate that Nikolai Tehin and Pamela Stevens were charged by the State Bar of California with identical misconduct, it does not appear that Stevens was criminally prosecuted.
State Bar online records show that the two, who were husband and wife and partners in a San Francisco law firm, resigned from the bar with charges pending in 2004 and neither may practice law in California.
According to newspaper stories, a federal jury convicted Tehin in October 2004 of dipping into $2 million of his clients' settlement accounts in 2001 and 2002. He was found guilty of six counts of mail fraud and nine counts of money laundering, and was sentenced in April 2005 to 14 years in prison.
Some of Tehin's victims were disabled children whose families hired him to represent them in medical malpractice suits. Others were low-income tenants of some Napa apartments who were owed $1.3 million in the settlement of a class-action lawsuit.
According to an online roster of federal prison inmates, Tehin, 65, is incarcerated at the U.S. Penitentiary in Atwater. He is scheduled for release in October 2017.