Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Dance Instructor

The Illinois Hearing Board has recommended a censure of an attorney, finding that he had testified falsely in an immigration proceeding involving his mother-in-law;

Based on her marriage to Beaudion, [mother-in-law] Antonina  petitioned to adjust her immigration status. On November 18, 2003, in connection  with Antonina's immigration matter, Respondent submitted a Form I-864 Affidavit  of Support (Affidavit of Support) to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  By submitting this document, Respondent agreed to financially support Antonina  if she were unable to support herself. The Affidavit of Support stated that  Antonina resided at 501 N. Clinton Street...

Respondent's marriage to Tanya began to unravel in  May 2004, when Respondent learned that Tanya was having an affair with her dance  instructor. Respondent filed for divorce from Tanya on June 11, 2004. Shortly  thereafter, on July 7, 2004, Respondent sent a letter to DHS requesting to  immediately withdraw his Affidavit of Support for Antonina. Respondent retained  counsel, who sent DHS a more detailed letter and affidavit signed by Respondent  on July 14, 2004. The letter and affidavit stated that Respondent had learned  that Antonina's marriage to Beaudion was fraudulent. An investigation into  Antonina's marriage ensued, and DHS initiated removal proceedings against  Antonina.

The board rejected charges of dishonesty in several instances but found misconduct in testimony:

...we find that Respondent testified falsely  when he stated that, between July 2000 and June 2004, Antonina always lived at  1703 W. Wrightwood and it was not possible that she lived elsewhere for any  period of time. This testimony cannot be reconciled with Respondent's position  here that Antonina moved out of his home for a period of time in the fall of  2003. There is no question that Respondent was aware that Antonina moved out, as  he was the one who insisted she do so before he would sign the Affidavit of  Support. Although Antonina apparently did not move in with Beaudion, she did  move out of 1703 W. Wrightwood for a period of time, according to Respondent and  the many witnesses who testified in this matter. Accordingly, Respondent's  Immigration Court testimony was false.

(Mike Frisch)

Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink

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