January 2, 2010
I Could Write A Book
The web page of the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers has a summary of a recent case:
On June 11, 2009, the respondent was convicted in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia of knowingly making and delivering a false certificate to the Federal Trade Commission in violation of 18 U. S. C. § 1018. The respondent was a senior vice president of his employer, and the certification involved the terms of a settlement between the respondent’s employer and another corporation concerning a patent. The respondent was sentenced to two years of unsupervised probation, fined $5,000, and required to write a book “reflecting upon the experience associated with the criminal behavior…so that others similarly situated may be guided in avoiding such behavior.”
A violation of 18 U. S. C. § 18, is a misdemeanor that qualifies as a “serious” crime as defined by S. J. C. Rule 4:01, § 12(3). The factual basis for the conviction was that the respondent intentionally submitted the certification but that he did not intentionally make the misrepresentations contained in the certification. The conduct did not involve the practice of law, and the respondent, who was a medical doctor, had never engaged in the practice of law.
On November 3, 2009, bar counsel filed a petition for discipline, the respondent filed an answer admitting to the allegations of the petition, and the parties filed a stipulation in which they agreed to the sanction of public reprimand. On November 9, 2003, the Board of Bar Overseers voted to sanction the respondent by a public reprimand.
The case is Matter of Bodnar decided November 11. BNET has an article about the criminal sentencing here. The criminal information and plea agreement can be found at this link on the Department of Justice web page. (Mike Frisch)
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