WISCASSET — Former lawyer Anita Volpe pleaded guilty Monday to stealing more than $1 million from three elderly, incapacitated clients.

Volpe pleaded guilty Oct. 18 in Lincoln County Superior Court to three counts of felony theft. Justice Daniel Billings said sentencing will likely be held in February or March 2022.

There is no agreed upon sentence for the 76-year-old Tenants Harbor woman. Assistant Attorney General Leanne Robbin filed a memorandum in the Knox County court in October 2019 asking for a seven-year prison term for Volpe. After the hearing Monday, Robbin said since there is no agreed upon sentence, Volpe could be sentenced to up to 10 years for the offenses.

Volpe said little during the hearing other than saying she understood her rights and that she was pleading guilty.

Volpe was indicted in March 2019 on three counts of felony theft, two counts of Class B misuse of entrusted property and one count of Class C misuse of entrusted property. The misuse of entrusted property charges were dismissed Monday in exchange for the guilty pleas.

Volpe is represented by attorney Leonard Sharon who complained to the judge about the amount of time the prosecutor was taking during the Monday hearing to detail the thefts. He asked that he and Volpe be allowed to sit during the recitation since he contended it was taking as long as a trial.

The case, like most in the court system, had been delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions imposed by the court.

Volpe stole $553,225 from Mary Webb; $490,416 from Patricia Wakefield; and more than $100,000 from Corine Hendrick who was her mother-in-law. The amount of restitution to be paid has not been determined and will be set by the judge at the sentencing hearing.

Volpe served as the power of attorney for the three women.

The longtime local lawyer used the stolen money to pay personal credit card debt and to purchase real estate, including a parcel abutting her home in St. George. Volpe also used some of the money to repair her Main Street law office in Rockland, and for repairs to her St. George home. Money was also used to pay property taxes for property she owned in Florida and for a vehicle for her business partner. One payment from Webb’s account was $2,500 for a wood carving from an art gallery that Volpe owned in Rockland.

Volpe also received annuities meant for Wakefield, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, after the woman died.

Hendrick died Dec. 20, 2014, at age 92, after several weeks in a nursing facility in Augusta that her grandchildren said was very low-quality. The family had wanted to put her in Quarry Hill, but could not because of lack of funds.

The Maine Supreme Court accepted the surrender of Volpe’s license in lieu of disciplinary action in August 2016. Justice Andrew Mead impounded all the documents related to the matter, but Hendrick’s grandson, Shane Hendrick, of Camden, released the paperwork back in 2016.

Volpe had initially been the personal representative for Hendrick’s estate after Hendrick died, but withdrew before the estate was probated. She repaid the Hendrick’s estate after she surrendered her law license but the Board of Overseers of the Bar was unaware that the money had been stolen from Webb and Wakefield.

The thefts from the other women came when the banks noticed the multiple transactions over a period of years.

Volpe had been admitted to the Maine Bar in 1977.