Wednesday, July 14, 2010
The web page of the Disciplinary Board of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court reports a recent suspension as a result of a criminal conviction. This post from LehighValleyLive.com describes the charges, which involved defrauding a church and a charity:
Today's indictment alleges [the attorney] failed to report $5.3 million in taxable income for years 2002, 2004 and 2005.
He is also charged with making a fraudulent $500,000 donation in 2004 to the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation, a nonprofit organization in Allentown.
In December 2005, [the attorney] created "The Urban Wilderness Foundation," became its president and had sole signature authority. On Dec. 6, 2006, [he] asked the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation to transfer the $500,000 donation he gave them to his Urban Wilderness Foundation, even though he had already taken a tax deduction for this contribution.
When LVCF decided that Urban Wilderness did not qualify as a charity to receive the funds, [he] allegedly recommended the money be sent as a charitable grant to his church, Dubbs Memorial United Church of Christ of Allentown, which was a tax-exempt qualified organization.
The foundation made $433,569 in grants to the church, then [he] then told the church to return $383,569 to him through "The Urban Wilderness Foundation." Officials allege the funds were not used for charitable purposes, but helped pay for funeral and catering expenses for his brother's memorial service.
If convicted of all charges, [the attorney] faces up to 204 years in prison and a $4.5 million fine.