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Lawyer, Client Charged In OC Home Break-In

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NEWPORT BEACH (AP) — An attorney and his client have been charged with vandalism and other misdemeanor counts after officers observed them breaking into a foreclosed Orange County home.

San Diego County-based lawyer Michael T. Pines and Newport Beach resident Rene Zepeda pleaded not guilty Tuesday after turning themselves in at a Newport Beach courthouse.

Pines is accused of advising the 72-year-old Zepeda that the July 2009 foreclosure of his Newport Coast home was illegal.

Prosecutors say the 59-year-old attorney told reporters and a representative of the bank that seized the home that he and Zepeda planned to take it back on Oct. 13, 2010.

Pines and Zepeda were arrested that day after breaking one of the home’s windows.

Pines is facing separate criminal charges in similar cases in Ventura and San Diego Counties.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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