Wednesday, October 3, 2012

"We Trusted Him"

An attorney convicted of grand larceny has been disbarred by the New York Appellate Division for the Fourth Judicial Department.

Thomson Reuters had this story on the criminal case:

"The former general counsel for a Teamsters local was sentenced Wednesday to up to eight years in prison for defrauding the union of $184,000 by submitting forged receipts for legal materials he didn't buy and classes he never attended.

Kevin Clor, 40, who served as counsel for New York State Thruway Employees Local 72 from 2001 to 2011, pleaded guilty in June to 34 counts of grand larceny, possessing forged documents and falsifying business records.

Acting Supreme Court Justice Carol Berkman sentenced Clor to between 2-2/3 years and eight years in prison, despite pleas from Clor's defense lawyer, Jeremy Saland, that such a sentence would be disproportionately harsh.

Saland asked the judge to take into consideration that Clor has an autistic son who requires expensive care and argued that his client had used at least a portion of the money to help his family.

"This was not somebody in any way who was living a life of luxury," he said.

Prosecutors accused Clor of giving the union approximately 150 phony receipts between 2006 and 2011.

The fake documents included invoices for more than $100,000 in continuing legal education courses that Clor never took, including $23,000 in receipts from the Nichols School, a private middle and high school near Clor's home in Buffalo, and $48,000 from the state's "Education Certification Department," which does not exist. Clor also submitted receipts for $22,000 for Thomson Reuters legal material that he never bought, some of which bore the names of invented salespeople, prosecutors said.

Thomson Reuters News and Insight is owned by Thomson Reuters.

"That he egregiously violated one of the most sacred vows that an attorney makes, to represent the interest of his client, is obvious, your honor," said Assistant District Attorney Jose Fanjul.

Martin Latko, the president of the union, expressed anger at Clor for his betrayal.

"For 10 years, we relied on his counsel and his advice," he told Berkman. "We trusted him."

In a brief statement to the judge, Clor said he accepted responsibility for his actions and promised to try to make his victims whole.

As part of his sentence, Clor will have to pay more than $160,000 in restitution, in addition to approximately $30,000 he has already paid to the union.

The case is the People of New York v. Kevin Clor, New York State Supreme Court, No. 5866-11."

(Mike Frisch)

Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink

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