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Delaware County lawyer pleads guilty to theft for billing clients in cases he never worked on

Keith Garrity accepted nearly $10,000 from clients, but failed to file paperwork or attend hearings in their cases.

Keith Garrity pleaded guilty to theft by deception during a hearing Friday in Media.
Keith Garrity pleaded guilty to theft by deception during a hearing Friday in Media.Read moreFile photo / MCT

A Delaware County attorney has been sentenced to five years of probation for accepting money from six clients and failing to do any legal work for them.

Keith Garrity Sr., 39, pleaded guilty to theft by deception Friday before Delaware County Court Judge James P. Bradley. Garrity, who represented himself in the case, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Garrity, of Marcus Hook, had his law license suspended for five years in 2019, after the state Supreme Court’s disciplinary board found that he had collected nearly $10,000 from six clients between April 2016 and February 2019 and repeatedly failed to deliver the services promised.

» READ MORE: Suburban attorney charged with stealing from six clients

It was his second five-year suspension: In 2017, the board found that he had failed to file his annual attorney registration but continued to represent clients.

The board detailed in its 2019 ruling how clients hired Garrity to represent them in custody, divorce, and criminal proceedings. After accepting their payments, Garrity failed to file legal documents on their behalf and, in some cases, did not show up for scheduled hearings and trial dates, according to the board.

Then-District Attorney Katayoun M. Copeland brought criminal charges against him months after his suspension.

“Keith Garrity had an obligation as an attorney to dedicate himself to the interests of his client and advocate with zeal on their behalf; he did the exact opposite,” Copeland said at the time.

In an interview with detectives after his arrest, Garrity said he was usually paid in cash, money orders, or Walmart-to-Walmart transfers “because he has issues with checks and did not maintain a bank account due to personal reasons.”