ARDC Alleges that Attorney Made False Match.com Profile of Another Attorney

BEFORE THE HEARING BOARD:

An attorney is alleged to have created a false match.com profile for an opposing attorney.  The allegations have not been proven, but are shocking:

1. At all times alleged in this Complaint, Respondent practiced law as a partner at Thomson & Weintraub law firm located in Bloomington, Illinois until February 10, 2017 when he was terminated.

2. Jane Doe (“Doe”) is a licensed Illinois attorney and partner in a law firm located in Bloomington, Illinois.
3. Respondent and Doe appeared as opposing counsel in 17 proceedings in McLean County. Respondent and Doe appeared as opposing counsel in seven proceedings between June 2016 and February 2017.
4. In September 2016, Respondent accessed the Match.com online dating website from his office computer (“desktop”) at Thomson & Weintraub and created a false online dating profile (“Match.com profile”) in Doe’s name.
5. In establishing the Match.com profile, Respondent created an online account in Doe’s name. Respondent associated a user name, password and email address with the Match.com profile.
6. The Match.com profile included the following false representations:
Doe was separated from her husband;
Doe’s children sometimes live with her;
Doe smokes but is trying to quit;
Doe regularly drinks alcohol;
Doe is agnostic;
Doe is 56 years old;
Doe does not exercise and enjoys auto racing and motor cross;
Doe has cats; and
Doe’s favorite hot spots are the grocery store, all restaurants, the Pizza Ranch, all buffets and NASCAR.
7. Respondent knew the representations in paragraph 6 above were false at the time he made them.
8. In September 2016, Respondent used his desktop to download several photos of Doe from her firm website and then uploaded those photos to the Match.com profile he created in Doe’s name.
9. In September 2016, Respondent uploaded the Match.com profile to the Match.com website so that it could be viewed by the general public.
10. At the time Respondent created and posted/uploaded the Match.com profile in Doe’s name, Respondent knew that the profile was false.
11. At no time did Doe authorize Respondent to create and post/upload a Match.com account in Doe’s name.
12. At no time did Doe authorize Respondent to create a user name, password and email address that Respondent associated with the Match.com profile.
13. At no time did Doe authorize Respondent to create and post/upload a Match.com profile in Doe’s name.
14. At no time did Doe authorize Respondent to upload the Match.com profile to the Match.com website.
15. On or around October 5, 2016, Doe became aware of the Match.com profile Respondent had created.
16. Doe filed an action in the Circuit Court of McLean County under case number 16-MR-1081 asking the court to direct Match.com to provide Doe with the Internet Protocol (“IP”) address associated with the Match.com profile.
17. On December 9, 2016, Match.com provided Doe with the IP address associated with the Match.com profile.
18. On January 20, 2017, Comcast, the internet provider for Respondent’s firm, provided written notice to the firm that the firm’s IP address was used to create the Match.com profile.
19. On or about January 20, 2017, Terrence Kelly (hereinafter “Kelly”), a partner at Thomson & Weintraub informed the firm employees that the firm’s IP address was used to create a false Match.com profile for Doe.
20. On or about January 20, 2017, Kelly asked Respondent whether he had created the false profile. Respondent denied creating the false Match.com profile for Doe.
21. Respondent’s statement to Kelly was false because, in fact, Respondent had created the false profile.
22. At the time Respondent made this statement to Kelly, he knew that his statement was false.
23. On or about January 20, 2017, Kelly announced that the firm would be hiring a computer expert to examine all of the firm computers. Kelly also asked firm employees to provide their personal devices to the computer experts.
24. On February 10, 2017, a search of the firm’s desktop computer assigned to Respondent revealed that a user of the computer had accessed the set-up pages of the Match.com website and had downloaded Doe’s photo from her firm’s website and uploaded that photo to the Match.com profile.
25. On February 10, 2017, when Kelly confronted Respondent with the findings of the computer expert, Respondent admitted that he created the false Match.com profile for Doe. Respondent was immediately terminated.

26. By reason of the conduct described above, Respondent has engaged in the following misconduct:
  1. engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation, by accessing the Match.com online dating website and creating an account and a false online profile in Doe’s name that included false representations about Doe’s marital status, children, religion, personal habits and interests, uploading the false profile to the Match.com website to be viewed by the general public, and denying that he created the false profile in Doe’s name when initially asked by a partner in his firm, in violation of Rule 8.4(c) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010).
    COUNT II
    (Dishonesty-registration for the Obesity Action Coalition)27. On or about July 2016, Respondent completed an online registration in Doe’s name for an organization entitled Obesity Action Coalition (“OAC”), so that Doe would become a member of OAC and receive materials from the organization.
    28. The OAC is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping individuals affected by obesity improve their health through education, advocacy and support. Members receive daily emails and a yearly print subscription to OAC’s Your Weight Matters magazine.
    29. In registering Doe for OAC, Respondent provided OAC with Doe’s name, email and business address.
    30. Respondent’s provision of registration in the name of Doe was false in that the registration was not that of Doe as she had not authorized Respondent to complete the registration in her name.
    31. At the time Respondent submitted the registration in Doe’s name, Respondent knew that the registration was false.
    32. As a result of Respondent’s actions, Doe began receiving daily emails from the OAC, and emails from Apollo Endo-surgery. Doe also received a lap-band kit in the mail at her business address.
    33. At no time did Doe authorize Respondent to complete an online registration in Doe’s name for OAC.
    34. At no time did Doe authorize Respondent to provide her name and contact information to OAC, its agents or assigns.
    35. By reason of the conduct described above, Respondent has engaged in the following misconduct:

    1. engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation, by completing an online registration in Doe’s name for OAC when Respondent knew that his provision of registration was false in that the registration was not that of Doe and Doe did not authorize Respondent to complete the online registration in her name, in violation of Rule 8.4(c) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010).



There are further counts and allegations.



Ed Clinton, Jr.

‘via Blog this’

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