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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

NO. BD-2008-040

IN RE: RAYMOND A. DESAUTELS III

S.J.C. Judgment of Disbarment entered by Justice Greaney on June 26, 2008.1

SUMMARY2

The respondent, Raymond A. Desautels III, was admitted to the bar of the Commonwealth on June 18, 1992. On April 9, 2008, the respondent was temporarily suspended after waiving hearing. The respondent did not fully comply with that order because he failed to notify all of his clients of his suspension and failed to return unearned fees to the clients.

On May 9, 2008, an information was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts charging Raymond A. Desautels III with wire fraud. The information alleged that the respondent had been retained by a client in January 2008 to handle a real estate transaction due to close in Pennsylvania on January 31, 2008. In connection with that transaction, the client had paid $1,000,000 as a deposit subject to forfeiture and caused to be deposited to the respondent’s IOLTA account a certified check in the amount of $1,990,000 to be used to complete the purchase of the Pennsylvania property.

The respondent represented another client, Allen Seymour, as closing attorney in real estate transactions. He disbursed by wire transfer and checks approximately $1,940,000 of the client’s funds on deposit to entities and persons associated with Seymour so that Seymour could fraudulently establish his supposed net worth to prospective lenders.

Seymour failed to return the funds to the respondent. The respondent concealed the scheme with Seymour and the loss of the funds from his other client. The respondent falsely informed the client that had instructed the bank to wire the trust funds to the escrow agent in Pennsylvania but the bank had not completed the transfer, and he prepared a “Wire/Funds Transfer Payment Order” purporting to document the request.

On June 18, 2008, the respondent’s consent to disbarment pursuant to S. J. C. Rule 4:01, § 8(5), was filed in the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County. The respondent attached to the consent to disbarment the information filed in Federal court and agreed that the conduct alleged established violations of Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.1, 1.2(d), 1.15(a)-(d), and 8.4(b) and (c). The respondent agreed not to contest the facts in the information and the rule violations in any bar discipline, admission, or reinstatement hearing. Because the respondent had not fully complied with the order of temporary suspension, the respondent acknowledged that the effective date of the judgment of disbarment should be the date of entry of the judgment. On June 26, 2008, the county court (Greaney, J.) entered a judgment of disbarment, effective upon entry.


FOOTNOTES:

1 The complete Order of the Court is available by contacting the Clerk of the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County.

2 Compiled by the Board of Bar Overseers based on the record before the Supreme Judicial Court.



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