Friday, May 16, 2014
An Illinois Hearing Board has proposed a suspension of three years and until further order in a case involving misuse of entrusted funds.
The attorney's explanation?
His mother did it:
Although Respondent denied committing misconduct, he acknowledged using funds that had been improperly transferred from his IOLTA account into his business account. Respondent claimed his mother, who was 82 years of age at the time of the hearing, transferred the funds without his knowledge. Respondent also claimed his mother was responsible for fabricating the false bank statements he submitted to the ARDC.
The Hearing Board did not believe the testimony of Respondent and his mother and found Respondent committed all of the charged misconduct. Specifically, the Hearing Board found Respondent failed to promptly deliver to a client or third person funds that the client or third person is entitled to receive, engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation, knowingly made a false statement of material fact to a third person, knowingly made false statements of material fact in connection with a disciplinary matter, and engaged in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice.
The Hearing Board found a substantial amount of aggravation, including Respondent's false testimony in this proceeding, pattern of dishonesty, and failure to recognize his misconduct. There was minimal mitigation. After considering the proven misconduct and case law, the Hearing Board recommended that Respondent be suspended for three years and until further order of the court and that he be required to pay restitution within six months of the final order of discipline.