A San Ramon family law attorney specializing in divorce cases has been sentenced to two years in federal prison as the latest in the so-called "dirty DUI" cases.
Mary Nolan, 62, pleaded guilty to one count of felony unlawful interception of communications and four counts of felony tax evasion, according to United States Attorney Melinda Haag.
Nolan admitted making her staff illegally intercept phone conversations by accessing a listening device that private investigator Christopher Butler had installed in a victim's vehicle. She also evaded more than $400,000 in federal taxes between 2005 and 2009, and admitted to obstructing justice by submitting false contracts to the IRS during an audit.
Senior United States District Court Judge Charles R. Breyer also included a three-year period of supervised release, 240 hours community service and $468,918.01 in restitution.
Nolan's was forced to resign from the state bar. She was ordered to surrender to the United States Marshals Service by March 6.
At the time of sentencing, Nolan had already paid the restitution and resigned her bar license.
The sentencing is the latest in a long list of those charged with federal and state crimes in the wake of the dirty DUI scandal in which Butler, a private investigator at the time, set up arrests of men in stings in Danville between November 2010 and January 2011.
The men, who were husbands of female clients in divorce and child-custody cases, were allegedly enticed to become intoxicated at Danville bars and then arrested for DUI.
The case led to lengthy sentences for a number of those involved, including several police officers, and resulted in the dismantling of the Central Contra Costa County Narcotic Enforcement Team.
Butler pleaded guilty to unlawful interception and several other offenses on May 4, 2012.
He admitted installing approximately 75 to 100 unlawful listening devices at the request of clients or their attorneys, including the listening device in the vehicle of Nolan's victim in August 2007.
Butler was sentenced to 60 months in prison on this charge, to be served concurrently with the 96-month sentence on his other counts.
"Attorneys and those trusted with the confidence of others are expected to uphold the law and pursue justice with integrity," said FBI special agent in charge David J. Johnson of the San Francisco Field Office. "The FBI will continue to partner with the U.S. Attorney's Office to expel those who abuse their professional licenses and take advantage of the criminal justice system."
IRS-Criminal Investigation special agent in charge José M. Martinez said Nolan's sentence shows no one is above the law.
"Ms. Nolan misused her position for personal gain while cheating the government out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Those who intentionally evade taxes should know they will not go undetected and will be held accountable," Martinez said.
Nolan was indicted by a federal grand jury on September 6, 2012.