ROCKLAND —A former longtime Rockland lawyer accused of stealing tens of thousands of dollars each from three “vulnerable” people pleaded not guilty to all charges during a brief hearing Monday.

Anita M. Volpe, 73, of Tenants Harbor made her initial appearance in the Knox County court. She was indicted March 5 on three counts of felony theft, two counts of Class B misuse of entrusted property, and one count of Class C misuse of entrusted property.

Judge Patricia Worth agreed to conditions requested by the Maine Attorney General’s Office that Volpe not be a trustee, personal representative or handle finances for anyone else until the case is concluded.

Volpe said little other than that she understood the charges and her rights. A dispositional conference has been scheduled for June 27.

Volpe was represented at the hearing by attorney Steven Peterson of Rockport. Assistant Attorney General Leanne Robbin represented the state.

Volpe is accused of stealing more than $10,000 from Corine Hendrick from Oct. 26, 2012, through Dec. 1, 2014.


Hendrick was Volpe’s mother-in-law and died at age 92 on Dec. 20, 2014, after several weeks in a nursing facility in Augusta that her grandchildren said was very low quality. The family wanted to put her in a Camden nursing home, but could not afford it.

Volpe eventually issued a check for $119,658 to Hendrick’s estate. The deputy counsel for the Maine Board of Overseers, Aria Eee, however, questioned in a 2016 court filing where Volpe got the money.

“As such, the Board is concerned that attorney Volpe likely utilized other client funds in her trust account to issue the $119,658.54 check she paid to Ms. Hendrick’s estate,” the deputy bar counsel wrote.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court accepted the surrender of Volpe’s license in lieu of disciplinary action in August 2016. Justice Andrew Mead impounded all documents related to the matter, but Hendrick’s grandson Shane Hendrick of Camden released the paperwork in 2016.

Volpe had initially been the personal representative for Hendrick’s estate after Hendrick died, but Volpe withdrew before the estate was probated.

In 2016, Volpe’s attorney at the time, Toby Dilworth of Portland, said the allegations against her in the Hendrick case were unproven.


“They are not facts. Ms. Volpe was prepared to defend against them. However, given that she was planning to wind down her practice after almost 39 years as a lawyer, she decided to surrender her license rather than engage further in this intra-family dispute,” Dilworth said back in 2016.

Another alleged victim was Patricia Wakefield, a retired Army lieutenant colonel.

The state alleges that Volpe stole more than $10,000 from Wakefield from May 20, 2014 through April 2, 2018.

Wakefield died at age 87 on Nov. 11, 2016 at the Knox Center in Rockland.

Volpe was the personal representative who oversaw the handling of Wakefield’s estate. Wakefield, who had lived in Tenants Harbor before going to the nursing home, had signed the will naming Volpe as personal representative on Dec. 15, 2000. Volpe was also listed as having the power to make medical decisions for Wakefield if she was unable to make those choices for herself, according to probate court records.

Wakefield was not married and had no children. Her will left all her assets to the Bolles School in Jacksonville, Fla.


After her death, the Knox Center made a claim against Wakefield’s estate for $49,667.

The third alleged victim listed in the indictment is Mary Webb. The indictment against Volpe alleges she stole money from Webb from April 21, 2014 through Jan. 9, 2017.

Volpe was also listed as the durable financial power of attorney for Webb in a probate case involving the disposition of the estate of Webb’s husband, Richard Webb Jr. Richard Webb, a St. George resident, died on Jan. 27, 2014 at the age of 86 at the Cushing Homestead.

His obituary listed no children for the couple.

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