Friday, September 24, 2010
The Illinois Administrator has filed a complaint alleging that an attorney falsely claimed to be suffering from cancer in order to induce a client to purchase a residence for her benefit:
In or prior to 2006, L...allowed Respondent to reside in a home [she] owned, at 1530 Tower Road in Winnetka (the "Winnetka house") under the terms that Respondent would pay rent and other expenses normally paid by tenants and L. would pay the expenses normally paid by landlords. At the time Respondent resided at the Winnetka house, L. had moved out of state and was residing in La Jolla, California.
In or about 2006, Respondent told L. that she was suffering from cancer and needed a place to live near her cancer treatment center in Evanston.
Respondent's statements to L. that she was suffering from cancer were false, and Respondent knew they were false because she never had cancer. Respondent's statements to L. that she was suffering from cancer were made for the purpose of inducing L. to purchase a house in Evanston to be used for Respondent's benefit.
In or about 2006, in reliance upon Respondent's statements as set forth...above, L.decided to sell the Winnetka house and use some of the proceeds from the sale to purchase a smaller house in Evanston where she would allow Respondent to reside as a tenant under the terms similar to that for the Winnetka house.
Respondent acted as L.'s attorney for the sale of the Winnetka house and the purchase of the Evanston house.
By reason of the trust and confidence that L. placed in Respondent pursuant to the attorney-client relationship, Respondent stood in a position of a fiduciary to L. As such, Respondent owed L. the fiduciary duties attendant to the attorney-client relationship, including the duty to perform the requested services with the highest degree of honesty, fidelity, and good faith, a duty of undivided loyalty, a duty to avoid placing herself in a position where her interests would conflict with the interests of her client, and a duty of care, including but not limited to a duty to ascertain if the actions she was taking on behalf of L. accurately reflected Lenore's desires and protected L.'s legal interests.
It is alleged that the Evanston house was to be titled solely in L.s name. The attorney had a warranty deed issued in her name and executed a fraudulent $150,000 mortgage, stealing the proceeds.
The client was forced to sue the attorney to clear title to the property.
It is further alleged that the attorney failed to cooperate in the bar investigation. (Mike Frisch)