ARDC Files Complaint Alleging That Lawyer Forged Checks

BEFORE THE HEARING BOARD:

The ARDC has filed a complaint against a lawyer alleging that the lawyer forged checks. The ARDC alleged that the lawyer, an associate with a law firm, forged firm payroll checks and presented them to currency exchanges. Below are the allegations concerning one transaction:

35. On November 13, 2015 and November 24, 2015, Respondent entered Justice Currency Exchange and presented for payment purported Sheehan firm payroll check numbers 578986 and 578996, each made payable to “Irina Cedano,” Respondent’s married name, in the amount of $1960.55. Check numbers 578986 and 578996 were purported to be drawn on BMO account number ending in 1196, entitled “Patrick T. Sheehan & Associates.” Respondent endorsed the rear of check numbers 578986 and 578996 “I. Cedano.”

36. BMO check numbers 578986 and 578996 are forgeries and were fabricated by or at the direction of Respondent, and were used by Respondent to fraudulently obtain funds from Justice Currency Exchange.
37. Respondent knew Sheehan firm check numbers 578986 and 578996 were forgeries at the time she presented the checks to Justice Currency Exchange.
38. On November 25, 2015, BMO dishonored check numbers 578986 and 578996 with a notation that BMO was “unable to locate account” for both checks.
39. On November 25, 2015, a representative of Justice Currency Exchange contacted Sheehan to verify the Respondent’s employment and to inquire about returned check numbers 578986 and 578996. The representative also faxed a copy of check numbers 578986 and 578996s for Sheehan to view.
40. Sheehan informed the Justice Currency Exchange that the checks 578986 and 578996 were not issued by the Sheehan firm and that the checks were fraudulent.
41. On November 25, 2015, Sheehan met with Respondent to confront her about check numbers 578986 and 578996 tendered to Justice Currency Exchange, as well as the circumstances set forth in Count II above. During the meeting, Respondent did not explain the email or photo attachments as set forth in Count II above, and denied presenting the checks to Justice Currency Exchange. Sheehan terminated Respondent’s employment at the conclusion of the November 25, 2015 meeting.
42. By reason of the conduct above, Respondent has engaged in the following misconduct:
  1. Engaging in a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer, by negotiating BMO check numbers 578986, 866986 and 986986 and committing a forgery, in violation of 720 ILCS 5/17-3(a)(1), 720 ILCS 5/17-3(a)(2) and 720 ILCS 5/17-3(A)(3), in violation of Rule 8.4(b) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;
  2. Conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation by conduct including, by negotiating BMO check numbers 578986, 866986 and 986986 at the Justice Currency Exchange, in violation of Rule 8.4(c) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct.”

The ARDC also alleged that the lawyer engaged in other misconduct including presenting forged checks to a creditor.

Disclaimer: this is merely a report of allegations against a lawyer. The allegations and claims made by the ARDC have not been proven.

Edward X. Clinton, Jr.

‘via Blog this’

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