Thursday, November 23, 2023

Abandoned Any Pretense

The British Columbia Law Society has disbarred an attorney 

This Citation, issued against the Respondent on November 26, 2020, is novel as it appears to be the first time a lawyer has been disciplined for money laundering – purposely using his status as a lawyer and his trust account to assist his clients to hide the illegal proceeds of their securities fraud. The Respondent utterly abandoned any pretense of acting ethically. He actively enabled his clients to benefit from their crimes. The Respondent knowingly assisted in or encouraged dishonesty, crime or fraud. The Respondent’s conduct is a gross dereliction of his duties as a lawyer and arguably made him a party after the fact to his clients’ frauds. For the reasons set out below the Respondent must be disbarred.

The misconduct

The Respondent’s misconduct in this case is extremely grave. At every stage, the Respondent acted, not to provide legitimate legal services, but rather to enable his clients to benefit from their securities fraud. The Respondent used his position as a lawyer and the principle of solicitor client privilege to hide proceeds of crime in his trust account. This is a gross breach of his duties and his acts must be viewed as extremely serious.

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_profession/2023/11/the-british-columbia-law-society-has-disbarred-an-attorney-this-citation-issued-against-the-respondent-on-november-26-2020.html

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