Thursday, April 4, 2013
The Indiana Supreme Court imposed a stayed sixty-day suspension with "at least" two years of probation in a matter that started with a trust account check overdraft.
The attorney claimed it was a "mistake, but in the next three years of communication with the [Disciplinary] Commission, he could not adequately explain the reason for the overdraft or account for trust account funds."
The commission had directed the attorney to retain a CPA to audit the trust account "but the CPA could not perform an audit due to lack of documentation."
The commission then did an audit, which revealed that personal and business expenses were paid from the trust account, at least 55 overdisbursements and 14 cash withdrawals.
Fortunately, there was no invasion of client funds because the attorney "kept more than a nominal amount of personal funds in the trust account..."
Some might call that a benefit of commingling. (Mike Frisch)