New York Disbars Attorney For Creating False Documents To Cover Up Errors

Matter of Goldstein (2014 NY Slip Op 07159):

The lawyer failed to do work and then prepared a false paper trail to cover up the failure to do the work. Every now and then you see this type of matter in a disciplinary proceeding. The lawyer makes an error (here several errors) and then begins to cover up the mistakes with false documents. Here is a portion of the charged and proven misconduct.

Charge two alleges that the respondent engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation in connection with the Shipmon matter, in violation of former Code of Professional Responsibility DR 1-102(a)(4) and (7) (22 NYCRR 1200.3[a][4], [7]) and Rules of Professional Conduct (22 NYCRR 1200.0) rules 8.4 (c) and (h). In June 2007, knowing that the defendants in the Shipmon matter had not been served with process, the respondent prepared an affidavit falsely stating that the defendants had been served with process. The respondent asked Shipmon to sign, notarize, and return the document, which she did. On or about June 2008, the respondent falsely advised Shipmon that her matter had settled for $42,500. Between June 2008 and March 2009, the respondent issued Shipmon four personal checks, totaling $800. He falsely represented to Shipmon that those funds represented a portion of her total settlement.

Charge three alleges that the respondent neglected a legal matter entrusted to him by a client, Arlene Waye, in violation of former Code of Professional Responsibility DR 6-101(a)(3) and DR 1-102(a)(7) (22 NYCRR 1200.30[a][3]; 1200.3[a][7]) and Rules of Professional Conduct (22 NYCRR 1200.0) rule 1.3(b) and 8.4(h). On January 5, 2008, Waye retained the respondent to commence a proceeding against a realty company, against whom Waye had won an arbitration award. The respondent failed to perform any work on the Waye matter.
Charge four alleges that the respondent engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation in connection with the Waye matter, in violation of former Code of Professional Responsibility DR 1-102(a)(4) and (7) (22 NYCRR 1200.3[a][4], [7]) and Rules of Professional Conduct (22 NYCRR 1200.0) rule 8.4(c) and 8.4(h). In or about October 2009, the respondent falsely advised Waye that she was awarded a judgment against the realty company. The respondent provided Waye with a false document that he created and represented to be an order of the Supreme Court, Kings County, dated October 14, 2009, which recited that Waye was awarded a judgment against the realty company. The respondent also provided Waye with a false document that he created and represented to be a bank levy dated October 19, 2009, which purported to direct the realty company to satisfy the judgment out of funds in its bank account at Woori American Bank. The respondent knew that the realty company did not have a bank account at Woori American Bank. In addition, the respondent provided Waye with a false document that he created and represented to be an ex parte order of the Supreme Court, Kings County, dated April 9, 2010, which purported to direct Woori American Bank to pay the settlement proceeds to Waye. In April 2010, the respondent falsely advised Waye that he received a settlement check from Woori American Bank, and that he deposited the check into his escrow account. In April 2010, the respondent provided Waye with a copy of a fabricated check that he created and represented to be an actual copy of a settlement check he received from Woori American Bank. The respondent continued to falsely advise Waye through June 2010, that, although he had received the settlement check, there were banking issues that prevented him from issuing her a check for her portion of the settlement.”

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