Tuesday, June 14, 2011
The Maryland Court of Appeals accepted the consent to disbarment of an attorney recently convicted of fraud charges. localKicks reports that the crime involved the attorney's own personal injury claim:
Lahuti is an attorney who is licensed to practice in Maryland and the District of Columbia. Lahuti owns and operates the Law Offices of Ryan Lahuti, P.C., and has offices in Silver Spring and Langley Park, Maryland. According to court documents, Lahuti had an ongoing business relationship with chiropractor Jason Carle, wherein the two would refer clients to one another. In May 2009, Lahuti was involved in an accident during which he was reportedly hit by a vehicle while riding his bicycle. Lahuti subsequently contacted Carle and asked Carle to create a patient file for him to document purported treatment related to the bike accident that Lahuti could use to submit a fraudulent insurance claim.
Carle never examined Lahuti or treated him for any injuries sustained in the accident, but fabricated patient files to document over $7,000 in treatment that he purportedly provided to Lahuti on 32 different occasions between May and August 2009. Carle also created documentation that falsely stated that Lahuti was totally incapacitated and out of work for two weeks after the date of the accident.
Lahuti used the false documents created by Carle to file a fraudulent bodily injury insurance claim with GEICO in November 2009. Lahuti used the same documentation to also file a false Personal Injury Protection (PIP) claim with GEICO. Lahuti demanded a $140,000 settlement from GEICO but eventually settled the bodily injury claim for $11,000 and the PIP claim for $6,435. Carle received approximately $3,500 of the settlement money for his role in the scheme.
The chiropractor also entered a guilty plea. (Mike Frisch)