Prosecutors in Calvert have filed criminal embezzlement charges against a former Prince Frederick lawyer who was disbarred earlier this year on allegations of other improprieties.
Craig Harrison Langrall, who formerly practiced law in Prince Frederick, appeared by web conference for an initial appearance in court on a felony theft offense and misdemeanor embezzlement charge last week, filed by Calvert prosecutor Ben Lerner.
Langrall did not respond to calls to a phone number listed in court papers and online.
A client protection fund case related to the criminal charges alleges while representing Daniel Treasure of Huntingtown, Langrall embezzled funds he had received on behalf of Treasure, and the client protection fund reimbursed Treasure $40,000.
An employee at the state’s attorney’s office in Calvert said Lerner had informed her the office has “no comment at this time” on the matter. Treasure did not answer calls for comment.
Langrall was disbarred by consent this May on allegations he lied to a client regarding returns on lawsuits against St. Mary’s-based media publications which reported on her arrest, and falsified documents showing returns on a lawsuit against the St. Mary’s County Government.
In 2015 and 2017, Langrall had filed defamation suits against The Chesapeake Today, which is an online outlet run by former St. Mary’s Today publisher Ken Rossignol, as well as Southern Maryland News Net and TheBayNet on behalf of Joyce Rulapaugh, who had been arrested in a 2014 traffic incident, a case in which her charges were eventually dismissed, according to a joint petition for disbarment filed with the Maryland Court of Appeals, which says Langrall had agreed evidence would establish the documented information.
The 2015 cases against the media outlets were dropped because Langrall failed to serve them, the petition says, and he did not inform Rulapaugh of the dismissals, and in the 2017 case, he “falsely informed Ms. Rulapaugh that the court had entered a judgement in the amount of $295,000 in her favor against the media outlets,” the petition says. That case was later dismissed in April 2018, but in daily contact with Rulapaugh, Langrall “continued to mislead [her] to believe he was attempting to collect on the judgement.”
Rulapaugh later directed Langrall to file a complaint against the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office, which he didn’t do, but he showed her a complaint “that he purportedly filed.” He later told her he had settled the case with the sheriff’s office, which he had not even filed, for $675,000 to be paid later that month, the petition alleges.
The day after Langrall said those funds were to be paid, Rulapaugh appeared at a St. Mary’s County commissioners’ public comment period where she demanded to know where the money was. The commissioners, and the county attorney, had not heard anything of the situation.
“I am dumbfounded,” Commissioner Todd Morgan (R) said at the July 2018 public forum, which was recorded for online streaming.
After that meeting, the county attorney and sheriff’s office investigated the situation, and in an interview with St. Mary’s State’s Attorney Richard Fritz (R) and two sheriff’s deputies, Langrall said he had drafted the settlement agreement but did not know how St. Mary’s Assistant Sheriff Michael Merican’s signature appeared on it.
A St. Mary’s grand jury indicted Rulapaugh on forgery charges, but Fritz later dismissed the case in April 2019, saying she may have been a “victim” in the situation, filing a complaint with the state bar association in June 2019. Part of that agreement, Fritz said, included her no longer pursuing legal action against the county.