Archive for the ‘attorney disbarred’ Category

Former estate-planning lawyer faces federal charges in claimed $3M client theft case

November 15, 2013

A former Pennsylvania estate-planning lawyer is facing a federal wire fraud and money-laundering case, accused of bilking eight clients of over $3 million between 2007 and 2013.

Prosecutors say Wendy Weikal-Beauchat, 46, used fake certificates of deposit and IRS 1099 interest-reporting forms to cover up the claimed thefts, the Gettysburg Evening Sun reports.

Weikal-Beauchat was disbarred by consent earlier this year.

Full Article and Source:
Former estate-planning lawyer faces federal charges in claimed $3M client theft case

Jury convicts disbarred northern Indiana lawyer of forging other attorneys’ names on documents

October 4, 2013

MISHAWAKA, Indiana — Jurors have convicted a disbarred northern Indiana attorney of forging the names of other lawyers on court documents.

The St. Joseph County jury returned guilty verdicts Wednesday against 47-year-old Rod Sniadecki on three felony counts of forgery.

The South Bend Tribune reports ( ) Sniadecki’s former legal assistant testified she forged the signatures and faked information in a tax return to secure a mortgage on his South Bend office.

Defense attorney Len Zappia argued the assistant did so without Sniadecki’s knowledge to keep the office running while he was gone.

The Indiana Supreme Court suspended Sniadecki in 2007 for starting a relationship with a woman whose divorce he was handling and lying about it. He was disbarred in 2010 for the forgery case.

Full Article and Source:
Jury convicts disbarred northern Indiana lawyer of forging other attorneys’ names on documents

Mt. Pleasant lawyer disbarred for stealing money

July 8, 2013

A Mt. Pleasant lawyer who practiced for 11 years has been disbarred by the State of Michigan Attorney Discipline Board.

A hearing panel originally recommended that lawyer Mark J. Tyslenko’s license simply be suspended for 45 days, but the attorney discipline board imposed the full sanction of revoking Tyslenko’s license.
According to discipline board documents, Tyslenko kept a total of $9,200 in fees paid to him by clients. The money was supposed to go to the law firm that employed him at the time.
“This is an unfortunate case,” the members of the discipline board wrote. “(Tyslenko), an II-year practitioner with an otherwise clean record and some support in his legal community, made a series of bad decisions, which are entirely inconsistent with the most basic character requirements of a lawyer.”
The board’s documents indicated that during 2009 and 2010, Tyslenko had run into financial difficulties. He was having trouble paying his mortgage, as well as medical and other bills for members of his family.
Tyslenko, who was working for the Joseph T. Barberi P.C. law firm at the time, admitted taking client payments on five separate occasions but failing to turn them over to the firm. Tyslenko was dismissed from the Barberi firm in October 2010, then went into solo practice.

Full Article and Source:
Pleasant lawyer disbarred for stealing money

Supreme Court disbars Terri Ann Hauge

July 1, 2013

The Supreme Court disbarred attorney Terri Ann Hauge today.

Hauge’s law license was suspended in 1995 after clients complained to the attorney discipline board that she mishandled their cases and lied about it.

She could have reapplied for her license, but never did. Instead she went in to business overseeing the finances of vulnerable adults. In fact at 200 clients her firm had the fourth largest portfolio as guardians and conservators in the state.

You can probably guess what happened next. In 2010, she was charged with theft by swindle and ignoring the needs of the people she was supposed to be taking care of.  She stole $53,000 from an Edina man who died in 2003 and there were several other charges of theft and perjury.

Full Article and Source:
Supreme Court disbars Terri Ann Hauge

Ky attorney disbarred over criminal conviction

June 22, 2013

A Lexington attorney has been permanently disbarred after admitting to taking $631,000 from a client over a 20-year period and another $46,000 in a separate case.

The Kentucky Supreme Court concluded Thursday that 65-year-old Brian P. Gilfedder’s conduct warranted a permanent ban on practicing law. Gilfedder agreed to the disbarment as part of a plea agreement with federal prosecutors in April that resulted in a 41-month prison sentence.  

Gilfedder admitted to taking $631,000 from a disabled veteran for whom he was appointed conservator in 1990. He pleaded guilty earlier this year to stealing the benefits and using them for himself from 1991 and 2011.

In the other case, Gilfedder acknowledged keeping $46,000 paid by an insurance company to four clients after an auto accident.

Full Article and Source:
Ky attorney disbarred over criminal conviction

Disbarred Attorney, Linda Vasquez Littlefield, Now Facing Federal Charges

May 9, 2013

A Kissimmee attorney who was disbarred for ripping off an elderly couple is now facing federal charges for a similar scheme Tuesday night.

Channel 9’s Jeff Deal spoke with the woman who tipped off authorities about Linda [Vasquez] Littlefield, and asked if there are tougher charges for people who prey on the elderly and take their life’s savings.

Victim Janet Lentz said they took everything.

“I feel used, raped,” Lentz said.

Investigators said the Littlefields ran up Lentz’ credit cards, stealing $53,000.

They were both convicted. Linda is still serving part of a two-year sentence. Ross was sentenced to probation.

Federal investigators said there are now 26 victims — people who put money in a special trust.

They said the Littlefields took nearly $3 million from the trust and spent it on cars, their businesses and property.

Kathleen Foust was Lentz’ guardian, and was the first to report the Littlefields.

“Linda and Ross were criminals, they just legitimized themselves and looked like they were wonderful people,” Foust said.

Since then she’s heard horror stories about how the Littlefields targeted the elderly.

She said one woman spent her life savings setting up a trust for two developmentally-disabled daughters and lost everything.

“She said, ‘Now I don’t know who is going to take care of my daughters when I’m gone,'” Foust said.

Linda and Ross Littlefield were first arrested in 2010. Linda Littlefield was a Kissimmee attorney, and her husband Ross helped her run businesses that appeared to help the elderly.

Full Article and Source:
Investigators: Kissimee Couple Ripped Off Elderly

See Also:
FL: Ex-Lawyer Gets 2 Years Prison For Elder Fraud

Registered Nurse and Disbarred Attorney Charged with Stealing More Than $2 Million from Elderly Woman’s Estate

March 7, 2013

ANCHORAGE February 28, 2013 — U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today that a registered nurse, formerly of Anchorage, and a recently disbarred California attorney were indicted by the federal grand jury in Anchorage, Alaska, of devising a scheme to obtain in excess of $2 million between May 2007 and August 2009 from the Trusts of Juanita Gielarwoski, now deceased.

Brian Ben-Israel, 53, of Duluth, Georgia, and Philip Eric Myers, 60, of Santa Barbara, California, were charged by the federal grand jury with one count of mail fraud and three counts of wire fraud. Ben-Israel was also charged with three counts of filing false tax returns.

According to the indictment, in 2006, Ben-Israel was a registered nurse residing in Anchorage and working at Meridian Psychiatric Consulting Group. Ben-Israel met and befriended Gielarowski and her daughter, who were both patients of Meridian Psychiatric Consulting Group; Ben-Israel became a health care provider and “financial advisor” to both. Myers, an attorney licensed at the time in the state of California, was versed in trust and estate matters. From at least 2004, Ben-Israel was a business partner and friend of Myers; Ben-Israel introduced Myers to Gielarowski and her daughter.

Full Article & Source:
Registered Nurse and Disbarred Attorney Charged with Stealing More Than $2 Million from Elderly Woman’s Estate

Escondido Attorney Agrees to be Disbarred

February 7, 2013

An atttorney in Escondido recently admitted to stealing $275,000 from an elderly client’s inheritance and has agreed to be disbarred.

Sydney Claire Kirkland drained all but $10,000 from a trust account that an 80-year-old client set up. That client put the money in a client trust account with Kirkland, who had previously done legal work for him. In June 2011, the county’s adult protective services got a complaint from a bank manager and intervened. When APS questioned Kirkland, she lied to the agency. In addition to being disbarred, Sydney Claire Kirkland faces criminal charges of grand theft and stealing from an elderly adult. Kirkland became ineligible to practice law on January 19.

Full Article & Source:
Escondido Attorney Agrees to be Disbarred

NY: 2 Lawyers Are Disbarred by Second Department

January 26, 2013

Two attorneys have been disbarred by the Appellate Division, Second Department, in separate matters. One lawyer resigned in the face of a pending grievance committee probe while the other was faulted for his “flagrant noncooperation with the grievance committee.”

In the case of Colvin C. Goddard of Far Rockaway, the committee served an April 2011 petition with four charges of professional misconduct—three having to do with failure to cooperate with the committee’s probe and a fourth alleging conversion of guardianship funds entrusted to him as a fiduciary. He was suspended in September 2011. Goddard failed to appear at a hearing before a special referee. His attorney did, but neither called witnesses nor presented evidence.

In the second case, the panel noted that of Thomas J. Bailey of Hicksville is now the subject of a probe of allegations including neglect of legal matters, failure to keep clients reasonably apprised and misappropriation of client funds.
Full Article and Source:

2 Lawyers are Disbarred by Second Department

See Also:
Matter of Colvin C. Goddard, admitted as Colvin Cleon Goddard, a suspended attorney, D36774

Prominent Milwaukee lawyer loses license for misuse of funds

December 21, 2012

After practicing law for more than a half century and being president of one Milwaukee’s better known law firms, Joseph W. Weigel will be leaving the profession next year as a disbarred lawyer.

The state Supreme Court Wednesday unanimously agreed to revoke Weigel’s law license for misusing client funds by using the money to pay vendors or other clients. Special prosecutor Paul Schwarzenbart has argued that Weigel ran the firm’s client trust account like a Ponzi scheme. That is, Weigel, 77, ran hundreds of millions of dollars through the fund and used money won in new cases to pay off clients in older cases. Others, such as consultants and experts who assisted in cases, went unpaid.

“A six or seven figure deficit in an account that holds client funds is an ethical failure of epic proportions,” the court said in its 37-page decision.

Schwarzenbart has handled the case since 2006 because Weigel’s son, William Weigel, is a top official at the court’s Office of Lawyer Regulation and he often is involved in prosecutions of lawyers who violate ethical rules. Schwarzenbart made all decisions in the Joseph Weigel case and did not consult William Weigel or other agency officials, said Keith Sellen, agency director.

Full Article and Source:
Prominent Milwaukee lawyer loses license for misuse of funds