Friday, January 8, 2010
The New York Appellate Division for the First Judicial Department has ordered the interim suspension of an attorney who, at the time of alleged misconduct, was a staff attorney with the Corporation Counsel. The allegation do not relate to his official duties. The charges:
The Committee's motion is based upon complaints filed by Michael D Shanabrook, Esq., and Alfonzo Mack. Pursuant to the Shanabrook complaint, respondent converted $30,000 that Shanabrook deposited in what he believed were respondent's escrow accounts for a real estate transaction. The Mack complaint alleged that respondent defrauded him of approximately $200,000 during the course of a real estate transaction.
Respondent was arrested on June 2, 2009 and charged with several felonies related to his activities with respect to the Mack complaint and in connection with an unrelated sale of property in Bronx County. On December 11, 2009,in the Southern District of New York, responded pleaded guilty to two counts of mail fraud arising from his participation in schemes to defraud two clients, one being Mack.
Interim suspension was deemed appropriate:
Immediate suspension on an interim basis is appropriate where the Committee has presented substantial and uncontested evidence of intentional conversion or misappropriation of client/third-party funds by a respondent...
In the instant matter, the Committee is in possession of substantial documentary evidence in the form of bank records and other documents which demonstrates respondent's misconduct. Indeed, respondent's failure to contest the motion and his qualified consent to the Committee's requested relief, as well as the invocation of his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, is in of itself more than sufficient for the requested relief.(citations omitted)