August 23, 2011
Service to this blog is now restored after the Great East Coast Earthquake of 2011.
An Illinois Hearing Board has recommended the disbarment of an attorney for false statements in efforts to obtain financial aid for his child's schooling. The findings:
Applications were filed for financial aid for Respondent’s daughter for the 1999-2000 school year (Count I), the 2002-03 school year (Count II), and the 2003-04 school year (Count III). [The Francis W.] Parker [School] required parents applying for financial aid to submit an application, entitled Parents’ Financial Statement, containing information about the parents’ income for the preceding year. Parents were also required to submit to Parker a copy of the federal income tax return they had filed for the preceding year.
Respondent prepared and signed the Parents’ Financial Statement for each of the three academic years involved. By signing the Parents’ Financial Statement, Respondent declared the information in the document was true, correct, and complete.
In each Parents’ Financial Statement, Respondent significantly underreported the income obtained during the preceding year. The admitted allegations of the Complaint established Respondent knew the information he placed on the Parents’ Financial Statements was false and intended to mislead Parker. The admitted allegations of the Complaint also constituted proof the tax returns Respondent submitted to Parker were not accurate copies of his tax returns, but altered copies containing false information.
Based on the false information thus provided, Parker awarded financial aid to Respondent’s daughter. Specifically, Parker gave Respondent’s daughter $6,160 in financial aid for the 2001-02 school year, $7,884 in financial aid for the 2002-03 school year; and $8,786 for the 2003-04 school year. Respondent’s family would not have been eligible for the financial aid awarded for these years if Respondent had not submitted false information.
Then there is this about the attorney's lack of response to the charges:
Respondent’s behavior in these proceedings is especially mystifying in light of his background. Respondent is a Harvard graduate. For years, he was a partner at a major law firm. Respondent is someone who knows, or should know, how to practice law. Yet, he
hid in the courthouse to evade service of process,
did not pick up his mail, fearing it might involve a claim against him,
filed frivolous pleadings rehashing the same issues,
purported to have no idea why he might be culpable for preparing, signing and submitting applications for financial aid which contained false statements and were based on fraudulently altered documents,
e. continually blamed others for everything wrong in his life,
f. did not properly respond to basic discovery,
g. repeatedly engaged in invective behavior in the course of a legal proceeding.
A dissent would impose a three-year suspension. (Mike Frisch)
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