Tuesday, July 2, 2013

I Shall Be Released

The New York Appellate Division for the First Judicial Department has imposed a reciprocal one-year suspension based on a like sanction ordered in New Jersey.

The facts:

The stipulated facts are that in April 2003, respondent and her husband applied for a $275,000 mortgage to refinance their home. When respondent was advised that there was a 1993 federal tax lien on their home, she contacted the IRS and discovered that the payoff amount was $5,780. Thereafter, respondent submitted a false certificate of release of federal tax lien to the mortgage corporation to show that she purportedly paid off the amounts due to the IRS. Respondent also filed the false release with the Essex County Register. In May 2003, the president of the mortgage corporation discovered discrepancies between the certificate of release and IRS records. After confirming that the lien was still in effect, he informed respondent of his discovery that the certificate was false. Respondent contacted the IRS, admitted she had filed the lien release and satisfied the lien.

A few months later, in August 2003, respondent met with U.S. Treasury agents and in an effort to cover up her misconduct, she claimed an individual identified as "T.M." had provided her with the false certificate of release and she gave the IRS agents a false power of attorney purportedly from T.M.

In January 2007, a criminal complaint was filed in U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey charging respondent with knowingly uttering a counterfeit writing with intent to defraud the United States in violation of 18 USC ยงยง 495 and 2. In March 2008, respondent was accepted into a federal pretrial diversion program by which prosecution was deferred and, by order of July 7, 2008 the complaint was dismissed without prejudice.

(Mike Frisch)


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