Thursday, March 13, 2014

Attorney Who Appointed Himself To Run Non-Profit Disbarred

The New York Appellate Division for the Second Judicial Department ordered the disbarment of an attorney convicted of federal offenses

As revealed in the United States Government's sentencing memorandum, and the District Court's order denying the respondent's posttrial motions, the respondent unilaterally appointed himself Executive Director of Neighborhood Enhancement Training Services (hereinafter NETS), a not-for-profit corporation located in the Bronx, which was established to help poor constituents in the district of then-Assemblyman Peter M. Rivera, who asked the respondent to help NETS renovate a building it had purchased. At or about that time, the respondent was treasurer of Assemblyman Rivera's political campaign, worked in Assemblyman Rivera's law office, and ran Assemblyman Rivera's for-profit corporation, R & S Group, Inc. (hereinafter R & S). In his role as Executive Director of NETS, the respondent unilaterally authorized payment of a salary, and other funds, to himself.

Counts one and two of the federal information arose from the respondent's production of documents to the FBI, in response to a grand jury subpoena, purporting to be the minutes of two meetings of the Board of Directors of NETS. At trial, the jury found that the purported minutes provided by the respondent falsely stated that the Board of Directors of NETS had certain discussions, and took certain actions related to the respondent's salary, both prospective and retroactive, and that the respondent accepted alleged loans from Assemblyman Rivera's law firm and R & S.

Count three arose from the respondent's mailing of a "grantee questionnaire" to the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, in which he falsely represented that, within the preceding five years, neither NETS, nor any director or officer of NETS, nor any affiliated or related companies, had been the subject of a criminal investigation, a civil investigation by any governmental agency, or any tax liens or judgments.

The opinion is linked here. (Mike Frisch)

Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink

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