Monday, July 7, 2014
An attorney was suspended for not less than one year without automatic reinstatement by the Indiana Supreme Court.
Respondent maintained an account for client funds ("Trust Account"). At least as early as December 2005, Respondent had a negative balance in the Trust Account. The Commission sent him a request for an explanation on March 31, 2006. From that date through 2013, Respondent failed to respond to or made incomplete responses to 25 demands for information by the Commission. On three occasions, the Commission filed petitions to show cause why Respondent should not be suspended for noncooperation. In two cases, Respondent cooperated before entry of a suspension order. In the third case, the Court suspended him before he cooperated sufficiently with the Commission to be reinstated.
Respondent made disbursements from the Trust Account using a check-by-phone system. He made disbursements from the Trust Account for personal purposes; for example, paying for his child's private school tuition. From December 16, 2006, through March 3, 2010, Respondent made approximately 47 transfers from the Trust Account that were not based on written withdrawal authorization or that were made payable to "cash." He failed to create and maintain sufficient records and a contemporaneous ledger for his Trust Account. In addition, Respondent held money on behalf of clients in a PayPal account, which was not an IOLTA account.