Wednesday, April 23, 2008
An attorney convicted of misprison of a felony was disbarred by the Oklahoma Supreme Court. The lawyer had "actively participated in health care fraud cover-up." His client (and later co-defendant) had engaged in a fraudulent scheme to use pension funds for his other companies. The former client was ordered to pay over $5.7 million in restitution. The lawyer sought to minimize his role in this disciplinary case but the court found that the admissions in his plea established his active participation in the fraud. While this is the first Oklahoma bar case involving a misprison of felony conviction, the court concluded that:
"Past behavior being the best forecaster of future behavior, disbarment is the only discipline which will protect the public and restore integrity to the bar lost by Golden's misconduct. Our decision in Shofner and consistency compel that Golden be disbarred. Disbarment is the appropriate discipline, the discipline which will best serve the public's welfare, and the only discipline that will protect the integrity of the bar and the judicial system."