Thursday, January 23, 2020

Unearned Benefits Lead To Disbarment

The Rhode Island Supreme Court accepted a suspended attorney's consent to disbarment.

Providence Journal reported

A suspended Providence lawyer who once served as a town solicitor in Burrillville has admitted to illegally collecting more that $200,000 in pension funds for a deceased client for nearly a dozen years after the man’s death.

Oleg Nikolyszyn, 65, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith Friday to two counts of mail fraud and one of theft from an employee benefit pension fund for collecting $234,586 from December 2003 through September 2015 in the name of a former employee of the City of Providence who was a member of the Laborers’ International Union of North America.

Under the plea agreement terms, federal prosecutors agreed to dismiss nine other counts of aggravated identity theft and mail fraud and to recommend that he be sentenced to two years in prison. He could have faced up to 45 years behind bars and $750,000 in fines.

A federal grand jury in July 2018 indicted Nikolyszyn on charges accusing him of collecting more than $234,000 in pension payments intended for a dead client.

Nikolyszyn remains suspended from the practice of law in Rhode Island until further notice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court, which suspended him in 2016 for serious professional misconduct following an investigation by the state disciplinary counsel.

According to the agreement, the former Providence employee, identified as A.K., hired Nikolyszyn in 2000, giving him the power of attorney to perform certain acts. Six months later, A.K. moved to Poland.

In October 2011, Nikolyszyn directed the LIUNA fund to mail him the monthly checks for him to deposit in A.K.‘s accounts. He requested, too, that he be sent checks from the City of Providence Employees’ Retirement System that A.K. failed to received after his move to Poland.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Denise M. Barton prosecuted the case, with William C. Dimitri representing Nikolyszyn.

(Mike Frisch)

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_profession/2020/01/unearned-benefits-lead-to-disbbarment.html

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