Friday, June 3, 2011
The New York Appellate Division for the First Judicial Department has determined that an attorney's criminal conviction warrants disbarment.
The court described the misconduct:
During his plea allocution, respondent admitted that he committed grand larceny in the second degree and offered a false instrument for filing in the first degree when, from 1996 through 2008, he failed to pay withholding taxes in relation to his law firm employees which amounted to approximately $90,000 (with penalties and interest it amounted to $200,000) and, he knowingly and falsely understated his tax liability on his 2006 New York State personal income tax return. Respondent further admitted that, as counsel for the seller in a real estate transaction, he deposited into his escrow account a down payment check in the amount of $735,000 and, thereafter, used those funds for personal obligations so that on or about May 2, 2008, the day of the closing, said funds were not turned over. Thus, respondent conceded that by stealing the $735,000, he committed grand larceny in the third degree and knowingly possessed stolen property in the third degree. On November 17, 2010, respondent executed an affidavit of confession of judgment in the amount of $735,000, and was scheduled to enter into an order of restitution.