Monday, September 15, 2008

With Friends Like These

A proposed three year consent suspension was adopted by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in a matter where a non-practicing lawyer was convicted in federal court of bribery in connection with federal program funds. The attorney was operating a computer software company that developed software "to enable large urban school systems to monitor and integrate their attendance, security and administrative issues."  He was advised by a lifelong friend that the company might receive a $200,000 opportunity grant. The friend was employed by the Governor's Action Team and was responsible for encouraging business opportunity into Pennsylvania.  The friend apparently saw an "opportunity" and assisted in the award of the grant, insisting on a $20,000 kickback. The payment was made from the escrow account of the attorney's former law firm and concealed as a disbursement in connection with a real estate transaction. There is no indication from the stipulation as to how the misconduct came to light. (Mike Frisch)

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