Thursday, June 14, 2018
Disbarment has been imposed by the New York Appellate Division for the Third Judicial Department
Resulting from her involvement in a scheme to defraud certain mortgage lenders, respondent pleaded guilty in June 2010 to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in violation of 18 USC § 1349 in the United State District Court of the District of Connecticut, and she was sentenced in April 2012 to 366 days in prison with three years of post release supervision. As a result of her conviction, the Superior Court of Connecticut for the Judicial District of Danbury suspended respondent from the practice of law in Connecticut for four years, effective June 3, 2012.
In determining the appropriate discipline in this matter, we take note of the nature of respondent's conduct underlying her conviction (see Matter of Mueller, 131 AD3d 762, 762 ; Matter of Briggs, 120 AD3d at 1523). Specifically, respondent's use of her law license to perpetrate a scheme to defraud mortgage lenders directly implicates the honor and integrity of the profession by eroding the public's trust in attorneys (see Matter of Hernandez, 156 AD3d 1109, 1111 ). Moreover, the severity of her misconduct is evidenced by the amount defrauded from the mortgage lender victims as a result of her actions, which totaled nearly $1 million. We find that the foregoing conduct, coupled with respondent's persistent biennial registration delinquency that spans the last six reporting periods (see Matter of Nichols, 152 AD3d 1044, 1045 ), warrants significant discipline. Accordingly, we conclude that, in order to protect the public, maintain the honor and integrity of the profession and deter others from committing similar misconduct, respondent should be disbarred in this state.