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Lawyer who stole $14,000 from clients barred

A BC lawyer who misappropriated more than $14,000 in client trust funds has been disbarred for professional misconduct.

The theft by Rudi Gellert was discovered through a routine audit carried out by auditors from the Law Society of B.C.

The society says Gellert, who last practised in Surrey, also made threatening comments to an auditor and refused to respond to requests for information about the trust account irregularities that were uncovered.

A society panel that heard the case last November, when Gellert was 70, says deliberate misappropriation of funds is among the most serious betrayals of a client's trust and constitutes gross dishonesty.

Gellert, who didn't appear at the hearing and didn't send anyone to represent him, is required to pay costs of $8,630.

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