Friday, August 28, 2020
A federal felony conviction drew a two-year and until further court order suspension from the New York Appellate Division for the First Judicial Department
As relevant, on July 12, 2018, respondent pleaded guilty, in the United States District Court for the Western District of New York to misprision of a felony in violation of 18 USC § 4, a felony under the United States Code. The basis for this conviction was that, between 2008 and 2009, respondent, as settlement attorney, represented a mortgage bank, The Funding Source (TFS), in eight real estate transactions for properties located in the Bronx, New York, involving loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). During the transactions, respondent learned that his codefendants were engaged in a scheme to fraudulently obtain mortgages that were insured by the FHA on behalf of unqualified borrowers and he, inter alia, signed legal documents knowing that the information was false. Although he did not know the full extent of the scheme, respondent became aware he was being used to defraud financial institutions and he failed to notify authorities of his codefendants' use of fraud to obtain funds from TFS. Respondent also took affirmative steps to conceal the fraud by signing, or having his paralegal sign, documents sent to the banks.
The attorney consented to the sanction. (Mike Frisch)