Ohio woman who made up kidnapping story indicted

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - A former Toledo attorney who made up a story last year about being kidnapped and driven to Georgia while she was pregnant was indicted Wednesday on an aggravated theft charge.

Karyn McConnell Hancock is accused of stealing more than $500,000 from her clients between 2002 and 2007, according to a Lucas County grand jury indictment. The charge could carry an eight-year prison sentence if she's convicted.

Investigators say Hancock deposited money that belonged to her clients into an escrow account, but only paid out small amounts. An investigator's report listed the rest of the money as missing. Prosecutors said they've identified 23 people affected by the alleged thefts.

Hancock, 36, told authorities in December that a man with a gun and two others abducted her outside a juvenile court building in downtown Toledo and forced her into the back of a van. She later admitted that she drove by herself to Atlanta, where she was found three days later outside an amusement park.

Hancock's attorney, Jerry Phillips, has said he thought his client ran off because some of her clients were accusing her of stealing from them. Hancock admitted in court records in January to embezzling more than $130,000 from a murdered man's estate. Several other clients have sued Hancock, who was a Toledo city councilwoman from 2003 to 2005.

Hancock was found guilty Jan. 29 of a misdemeanor charge of making false alarms for making up the story and triggering a search by authorities, and was sentenced to probation for two years and fined $300.

Hancock earlier this year also informed the Ohio Supreme Court that she was resigning from practicing law in the state.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)