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Newport lawyer accused of embezzling thousands from widow

December 14, 2010

A Huntington Beach man who practices law in Newport Beach is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday on charges that he siphoned off more than $117,000 from one of his widowed clients.

Redmond Peter McAneny, 55, is accused of felony embezzlement with an enhancement for the loss being more than $65,000. He faces up to four years in prison if convicted of all charges. His arraignment will be at the Central Jail in Santa Ana.

McAneny, a personal injury lawyer whose office is on Quail Street, is accused of securing a $117,000 settlement between his client, Deborah Slaybaugh, and her son and then stealing it. Slaybaugh's husband had changed the terms of his trust before he died, leaving it unclear who should receive his life insurance benefits.

McAneny received Slaybaugh's check and deposited it into her account, authorities said. After depositing the check, he began writing himself checks drawing funds from Slaybaugh's account until it was empty. Slaybaugh claims she didn't receive any of the money and filed a lawsuit against McAneny in April.

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McAneny is being held in lieu of $250,000 bail. A judge will review his bail amount Wednesday. It was not immediately clear who would be representing him in court.

Joseph Serna

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