Hastings lawyer charged with stealing almost $80,000 of client funds

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Former Hastings lawyer David Porteous is charged with stealing client funds.
Former Hastings lawyer David Porteous is charged with stealing client funds.

Hastings lawyer David John Porteous has been charged with stealing almost $80,000 of client funds before he was struck-off the roll of barristers and solicitors two years ago.

Porteous, 65, faces six five charges of theft and one of misappropriation after a police investigation which started more than two years ago.

The charges allege he committed theft by intentionally dealing with funds other than intended by clients.

Four charges relating to funds totalling $49,200 belonging to Hastings couple Neville and Margo Lush alleged to have been misappropriated by Porteous in 2010-2011.

The two other charges of theft relate to $29,232 belonging to a female client and alleged to have been misappropriated in 2011-2012.

Porteous had been a lawyer in Hastings for 32 years when he closed his chambers in Russell St, Hastings, and turned in his practising certificate in September 2014 amid a Law Society investigation into the operation of the D.J. Porteous Lawyer trust account, which held funds on behalf of clients.

He appeared before a registrar in Hastings District Court on Monday and was remanded on bail without pleas pending a second appearance on November 28.

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