Retired Rockland lawyer indicted for stealing from clients

By Stephen Betts | Mar 05, 2019
Source: File photo

Rockland — A retired longtime Rockland lawyer was indicted Tuesday, March 5, for stealing tens of thousands of dollars from three elderly women.

Anita M. Volpe, 73, now of Venice, Fla., was indicted March 5 by a Knox County grand jury for 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 indictments allege that she stole more than $10,000 from three different women beginning in October 2012 and continuing until April 2018. The indictment states that the three women were all "vulnerable" people.

Volpe surrendered her license to practice law in August 2016, after nearly 40 years of being an attorney. She forfeited her license amid allegations that she mismanaged an elderly client’s finances and submitted a false application for the woman to receive state assistance.

At that time, the attorney for the Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar had asked the Maine Supreme Judicial Court to take disciplinary action against Volpe.

One of the victims listed in the indictment was Corine Hendrick, her mother-in-law.

Corine Hendrick’s grandson, Shane Hendrick of Camden, said in a 2016 interview that he did not believe allowing Volpe to surrender her license to practice law was sufficient punishment for how she mismanaged his grandmother's estate.

Volpe was granted power of attorney over Corine Hendrick’s finances in 2012, when the woman began showing signs of dementia. Hendrick had been living with her daughter, Sandra Carr, in Virginia at that time. The daughter died later that year, and Hendrick moved back to her home in Camden, where Shane Hendrick and his wife cared for her.

The documents submitted to the board and by the board to the Law Court indicate that Corine Hendrick’s bills were not paid on time and that, as a result, she lost home health services and a day-respite program. Volpe routinely responded that Corine Hendrick was poor and that Volpe had to pay some of the bills herself.

When her grandson and his wife could no longer care for Corine Hendrick at home, they sought to put her into a nursing facility in Camden, but were told she did not have sufficient funds. The woman was then placed in a nursing facility in Augusta that Shane Hendrick said was of very low quality.

Corine Hendrick died Dec. 20, 2014, at age 92, after several weeks in the nursing facility.

The deputy counsel for the Maine Board of Overseer stated in an April 2016 court filing that it was clear that discrepancies over the woman's finances were unresolved.

“As such, the Board is concerned that Attorney Volpe likely utilized other client funds in her trust account to issue the $119,658.54 check she paid to Ms. Hendrick’s estate,” the deputy bar counsel wrote in the document.

The Board of Overseers did not comment at the time whether it had referred the matter to prosecutors.

Volpe in 2016 denied any wrongdoing.

The other two victims of the alleged theft are Mary Webb and Patricia Wakefield, according to the indictment.

Comments (4)
Posted by: PAMELA STONE | Mar 07, 2019 17:18

I concur with Ananur. I worked for Anita for almost 20 years. I consider her my best friend. There are two sides to every story. Family conflict is at the root of this nasty mess.



Posted by: PAMELA STONE | Mar 07, 2019 17:15

7



Posted by: ananur forma | Mar 06, 2019 15:32

Anita Volpe is a good friend of mine, since 1981 when we first met. Anita has always been an honorable, sincere person. I believe there is more to this story. Remember that the main part of this issue, is a family conflict. I do not see Anita as "a guilty" person who did wrong. There's more to this than we know. I will always respect her, trust her, and love her as a friend.



Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Mar 06, 2019 13:42

Sadly disappointed in Volpe, and a lawyer to boot!  Sad!



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