Friday, January 27, 2023
A Backyard Hockey Rink
The Manitoba Law Society Discipline Hearing Panel will permit an attorney who had misappropriated significant sums to resign from the Bar
From June, 2009 and into 2015, Mr. Rabb misappropriated in excess of $360,000.00 from the trust accounts for a number of his managed properties for services, supplies, and products which they did not receive. These diversions of funds were accomplished in several ways, namely:
(a) manually altering invoices for work done on personal residences and other properties owned by himself and other closely-related individuals and companies to indicate that the work was done on one of the managed properties, and then paying the invoice from the trust accounts for those properties;
(b) asking the owners of companies providing various services to change the job site locations on invoices from personal residences to managed properties such as apartment blocks;
(c) asking the owner of a company providing various services to issue a fake invoice for work not done, then presenting the invoice to the owners of two managed properties for payment;
(d) telling a service provider to include hours spent working on personal residences on invoices rendered by it for work done on two managed properties, and then charging the entire amount to the owners of those properties;
(e) paying an invoice for work done on the residence of a close friend from trust funds properly belonging to the owners of a managed property;
(f) paying the same invoice on multiple occasions using funds from different trust accounts; and,
(g) paying for the construction of a backyard hockey rink using funds from multiple different trust accounts.
The beneficiaries of all of this largesse included relatives, associates, and employees of Mr. Rabb whose personal residences and vacation properties were repaired or upgraded at no cost to themselves.
The Panel notes that these methods of misappropriation were not overly sophisticated and, by requiring as they did the collusion (or at least acquiescence) of many other individuals, were not likely to remain undetected for long. Indeed, it is rather surprising that Mr. Rabb was able to continue his pattern of deceptions for as long as he did (about 5 years and 4 months).