Saturday, April 08, 2017

Federal Appeals Court OKs 11-Year Prison Sentence For Disbarred Attorney Who Fleeced Stroke-Stricken Client For Over $840K; Disability Rendered Victim Unable To Walk, Talk, Etc. For The Rest Of Her Life

In Baltimore, Maryland, The Daily Record reports:
  • A federal appellate panel affirmed last week an 11-year sentence for [Saundra Lucille White,] a suspended-then-disbarred attorney in who defrauded a Silver Spring client over the course of several years and misappropriated hundreds of thousands of dollars in assets.(1)(2)(3)
For more, see 4th Circuit upholds fraud conviction for attorney disbarred in Md.

See also, Disbarred Attorney Sentenced To 11 Years In Prison for Scheme to Defraud Clients of More Than $841,000.

For the court ruling, see USA v. White, No. 16-4070 (4th Cir. March 9, 2017).
---------------------
(1) According to the facts set forth in the court's ruling, the victim "[s]uffered a severe stroke leaving her unable to walk, talk, or drive for the remainder of her life." Shortly thereafter, a close relative of the victim reached out to attorney White to seek legal assistance in organizing the victim's personal affairs. Among the stroke-stricken victim's assets were a condominium, a car, and three bank accounts totaling over $130,000. In addition, the victim also had access to her deceased mother’s assets, including bank accounts totaling $352,000, approximately $400,000 in savings bonds, and a house.

(2) See generally, Frederick Miller, "If You Can't Trust Your Lawyer .... ?", 138 Univ. of Pennsylvania Law Rev. 785 (1990) for more on the apparent, long-standing tolerance for deceit by many in the legal profession (while Professor Miller's essay is over a quarter-century old, it appears that his observations maintain their vitality to this day):
  • This tolerance to deception is encouraged by the profession's institutional civility. Seldom is a fig called a fig, or a shyster a shyster. No, our euphemisms are wonderfully polite: "frivolous conduct," or a "lack of candor;" or "law-office failure;" or, heaven forbid, a "peculation," a "defalcation," or a "negative balance" in a law firms's trust account.

    There is also widespread reluctance on the part of lawyers --- again, some lawyers --- to discuss publicly, much less acknowledge, that they have colleagues who engage in deceit and unprofessional conduct.

    This reluctance is magnified when the brand of deceit involves the theft of client money and property, notwithstanding that most lawyers would agree that stealing from clients is the ultimate ethical transgression.
    ***
    The fact is, however, that theft of client property is not an insignificant or isolated problem within the legal profession. Indeed, it is a hounding phenomenon nationwide, and probably the principal reason why most lawyers nationwide are disbarred from the practice of law.
(3) The Client Protection Fund of the Bar of Maryland, formerly known as the Client's Security Trust Fund, was established to reimburse clients who have suffered a loss due to the wrongful taking of money by a Maryland-licensed attorney. In most cases, according to the Fund, a victim can claim the full amount that was wrongfully taken. The amount reimbursed, however, cannot exceed 10 percent of the value of the Fund as of the close of the prior fiscal year.

For similar "attorney ripoff reimbursement funds" that attempt to clean up the financial mess created by the dishonest conduct of lawyers licensed in other states and Canada, see:
Maps available courtesy of The National Client Protection Organization, Inc.

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home