Tuesday, August 21, 2012
An Illinois Hearing Board has recommended a six-month suspension of an attorney based on findings that he had converted funds held in a family trust:
The charges in this case stem from Respondent's alleged misuse of the funds from a family trust and his subsequent failure to account for his actions. The admitted complaint allegations and other evidence presented established the following.
The Whitlaw Trust was established in 1982 by Respondent's grandmother and originally contained 520 shares of stock in a telecommunications company. Respondent's mother, Sandra, and his uncle, James, were the lifetime income beneficiaries of the Trust. Upon both of their deaths, the assets in the Trust were to be divided equally among Respondent and his three brothers, Michael, Matthew and Marshall. Springfield Marine Bank was named the original trustee and Bank One later assumed that role. In 1999, the family became dissatisfied with the manner in which Bank One was investing the Trust's funds and asked it to resign. Sandra was vested with the authority to appoint the Successor Trustee and she chose Respondent. Sandra, James, Michael and Matthew all agreed to allow Respondent to take over for the bank as Trustee.
The hearing board found that the attorney used the entrusted (and now depleted) funds for his own purposes. The result harmed the financial interests of his mother, uncle and three brothers.
The attorney's first name is Martin. (Mike Frisch)