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Disbarred Annapolis lawyer jailed for stealing client's money

A disbarred Annapolis lawyer was ordered Thursday to serve 18 months in the Anne Arundel County jail plus five years on probation for siphoning nearly $308,000 from a client.

Jerold K. Nussbaum, 60, whom Karen Gunther hired to handle her mother's estate, stole most of it in 2005 and 2006, according to prosecutors and court records. He had pleaded guilty in January.

"Mr. Nussbaum not only stole my money, but I've lost my home," Gunther, the heir, told Judge Paul A. Hackner, according to a recording of the court hearing. She said she had to move in with a cousin and still pay $6,000 a year in taxes on a house "I can't even live in" because she couldn't afford needed repairs.

Nussbaum, who practiced mostly tax and bankruptcy law and now works for a start-up company, was in financial trouble because of clients' bankruptcies, was going through a divorce and was using Gunther's funds to stay afloat, according to his attorney, Drew Cochran. He plans to repay the funds, Cochran said. Nussbaum was disbarred in 2007 after using other clients' money between 2003 and 2005 for his expenses and seeking to cover it up when questioned by the Attorney Grievance Commission.

Andrea.siegel@baltsun.com

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