Cedar Rapids attorney disbarred: Admits to taking $800,000 out of client acounts for gambling

Former lawyer entered treatment last year

A Cedar Rapids attorney was disbarred this week for taking $800,000 from client accounts that was used for her “gambling addiction,” according to disbarment documents filed Wednesday with the Iowa Supreme Court.

Susan L. Hense, of the Hense Law Firm, who has been in practice since September 1996, admitted to misconduct and consented to the disbarment in a sworn affidavit Dec. 27, 2012 which was submitted to the court’s Grievance Commission and Attorney Disciplinary Board. Hense states she signed the affidavit after consulting with an attorney. She said, at that time, she didn't know of any pending investigation regarding the client funds but admits her license could be revoked for misappropriating the funds.

“I deeply regret, beyond my ability to describe, my theft of funds belonging to my clients,” Hense said in the affidavit. “My conduct merits disbarment.”

Hense couldn’t be reached for comment Friday. The number of Hense’s law practice has been disconnected.

Frank Nidey, Hense’s attorney, didn’t return a phone message left Friday.

Hense admitted to a gambling addiction, saying she had stopped going to casinos where she usually went in Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois, according to the affidavit. She also started weekly counseling sessions and will start attending “one-day-at-a-time” meetings. Hense said she hadn’t gambled since entering treatment Oct. 6, 2012.

Hense said she was going to make a report with the Cedar Rapids Police Department, the Linn County Attorney’s Office and the Client Security Commission, as well as with any other agency which might assist with “mitigation of any damages my actions have caused my clients.”

No charges have been filed against Hense at this time. Cedar Rapids Police Sgt. Cristy Hamblin the U.S. Attorney’s Office were handling the matter.

No charges have been filed in federal court and Acting U.S. Attorney Sean Berry said he couldn’t comment.Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady signed Hense’s license revocation Wednesday.