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Vancouver lawyer charged with theft and fraud moves to sentencing

Charges against Steven Neil Mansfield involve four people and encompass fraud over $5,000 and theft over $5,000.
Vancouver Provincial Court
Steven Neil Mansfield's next court date is May 2.

A Vancouver lawyer twice disbarred from practice will appear in Vancouver provincial court May 2 to set a date for sentencing for fraud and theft.

Steven Neil Mansfield was charged with eight counts of fraud and theft.

He was in court April 25 for arraignment on the charges but no plea was entered.

Rather, Crown prosecutor Andrew McLean told Judge James Doherty the case would move to a pretrial conference in advance of a sentencing hearing.

Court documents do not indicate any pleas on the charges.

The charges involve four people and encompass four charges each of fraud over $5,000 and theft over $5,000.

Mansfield is defending himself but has former B.C. Supreme Court Justice Peter Leask as an advisor.

McLean said he, Mansfield and Leask have been in discussions and that he has been provided with some expert reports.

Twice disbarred

The Law Society of BC has twice disbarred Mansfield, who practiced law in the Lower Mainland for 24 years.

“In the final years of his practice, he misappropriated large sums of trust funds from several clients in order to settle gambling debts,” a May 2019 society disbarment decision said.

The decision said Mansfield could not pay from his personal resources and began withdrawing money from his trust accounts in order to meet the debts arising from his gambling losses.

“Given the severity of the misconduct in this case, the disbarment of the respondent is necessary,” the 2019 decision said. “The respondent has demonstrated an egregious failure to respect his duties and obligations to his clients.”

In that case, funds misappropriated totalled $310,972.

The prior decision was in July 2018. "[Mansfield] explained that his actions in intentionally misappropriating over $400,000 from two clients resulted from a gambling addiction," stated that decision.

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