December 8, 2008
Long Time Coming
An attorney who had been disbarred in Illinois in 1997 failed to report the order to Kansas, where he continued to register as an inactive lawyer. The attorney had been convicted of the following:
...the respondent was convicted by a jury in federal district court in Illinois of conspiracy to commit income tax fraud. Highly summarized, the conviction was based on evidence that the respondent conspired with a client to hide over $700,000 of the client's income from the IRS over a period of years. The client forwarded his business income to the respondent, who hid it in a trust account. The respondent regularly withdrew cash from the account and gave the money to the client as well as made purchases for the client. The 7th Circuit opinion provides extensive details as to the respondent's deep involvement in the criminal activity. The final hearing report herein contains a lengthy cite from the opinion. United States v. Minneman, 143 F.3d 274, 277 (7th Cir. 1998). The respondent was sentenced to 30 months in prison and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $25,000. The respondent appealed his conviction, and the Seventh Circuit affirmed his conviction in 1998.
The attorney admitted that he "probably" should have advised the Kansas Administrator of his conviction and disbarment rather than going on inactive status. (Mike Frisch)
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Given the seriousness of the allegations, this case might not be the best example for this issue, but is it really reasonable that there be no statute of limitations on attorney disciplinary matters and, in particular, reciprocal discipline?
And before someone points out that discipline is not intended as a punishment but rather a protection for the public and therefore everything is relevant, surely at some point, the past becomes so distant that it is no longer a good predictor of the future?
Posted by: FixedWing | Dec 8, 2008 8:27:44 AM