Local attorney jailed after failing to appear in court on theft charges

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CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – A local attorney is in custody after not showing up for court on theft charges.

Benjamin Joltin was indicted by a Mahoning County grand jury last week on theft, passing bad checks and forgery charges. He was accused of taking money from a divorce case that he handled.

Detective Josh Wells said a woman called police in February saying she had hired Joltin to handle her divorce case. At that time, Joltin has been working out of an office on South Broad Street. Police say the woman gave Joltin a check to cover a home sale last August.

“That money was not ultimately directed to where it was supposed to, so the case was never resolved. It was actually never returned to the victim,” Wells said.

At about the same time Joltin was given that check, justices on the Ohio Supreme Court were hearing complaints from three other former clients of his, all claiming he had mismanaged thousands of dollars in legal fees. The court suspended his license in December for two years, determining he had repeatedly been dishonest with his clients and had misappropriated their money.

“In this case, because it was maybe a gray area, we did run this through the prosecutor’s office and got their opinion,” Wells said.

Joltin was arrested Thursday at a home in Austintown. He is expected to stay in Mahoning County Jail until his court hearing next week.

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