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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

NO. BD-95-004

IN RE: CHARLES M. EDGAR

S.J.C. Order Denying Reinstatement entered by Justice Cordy on October 12, 2001. 1
HEARING PANEL REPORT

I. STATEMENT OF PROCEEDINGS

The petitioner, Charles M. Edgar (“Edgar”), seeks reinstatement after his four-year suspension from the practice of law, Matter of Edgar, S.J.C. No. BD 95 004 (Abrams, J.) The effective date of the suspension was January 20, 1995, which was the date of his temporary suspension from the practice of law, Matter of Edgar, 11 Mass. Att'y Disc. R 76. Edgar's suspension was predicated upon his conviction in the United States District Court of three counts of making false statements, in violation of 18 U.S.C.§1001, and one count of mail fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C.§1041 (Exh. 1). Originally Edgar was charged with thirty-seven criminal counts.

On February 1, 1995, the Petitioner was convicted and sentenced to a term of imprisonment of twelve months and one day, was fined $5,000.00 with an additional $200.00 special assessment and placed on probation for twenty-four months thereafter with conditions. (Exh. 30) His convictions were upheld on appeal to the First Circuit, United States v Edgar, supra, and as of this date of his reinstatement hearing, Mr. Edgar was still on probation and was paying off his fine at the rate of $50.00 per quarter. A hearing panel composed of Cynthia J. Cohen and Maryanne Frangules, and chaired by Anthony W. Fugate, conducted hearings on August 24 and September 13, 1999. The petitioner was represented by Edward McLaughlin, Bar Counsel was represented by First Assistant Bar Counsel Nancy Kaufman, with Board Counsel Michael Fredrickson also present.

Edgar filed his reinstatement questionnaire on April 8, 1999. At the hearing, the Petitioner testified on his own behalf. No additional witnesses testified, nor did the Petitioner present any letters in support of his petition from friends, acquaintances or any other members of the community or Bar. The panel received into evidence 41 exhibits.

II. PETITIONER'S BACKGROUND

The Petitioner was born on July 3, 1949, in Quincy, Massachusetts. (Exh. 5). He attended Quincy Junior College and later Suffolk University, where he obtained his bachelors degree in accounting (Reinstatement Questionnaire). From 1975-1977, he attended Bentley College where he received a Masters of Science in taxation. During part of this same period, he attended Suffolk University, where he was a Masters of Business Administration candidate. Between 1986 and 1991 he attended the Commonwealth School of Law (86-89), the New England School of Law (Summer 1997) and the Massachusetts School of Law, where he received his Juris Doctorate in June of 1991.

HI. FINDINGS

In the early 1980's, the Petitioner worked as an auditor for the United States Department of Commerce, in the Office of the Inspector General, where he engaged in “forensic work” and acted as a “fiscal monitor” on various projects. (Tr. 1:48) In May of 1991, the Petitioner was in Miami, Florida, working on an investigation of an Asian importing operation, involving the illegal importing of shrimp (Tr. 1:15, 16-18). The petitioner discovered some records with notes in Chinese that he wanted to have translated in New York. In May of 1991, he was returning to New York in his private airplane, purchased while in Florida, when the oil pump failed and he crashed in Pennsylvania. (Tr. 1:16, 8-11) The petitioner sustained severe injuries to his back, which resulted in plastic surgery and two spine operations. (Tr. 15,15-17) The injuries themselves included a broken back, fractured face, broken skull, dislocations and ruptured disks. (Tr. 1-51, 16-18)

The petitioner filed a claim for compensation with the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (O.W.C.P.) of the Department of Labor, stating that his injuries were work-related. The government denied compensation because “travel by a privately owned airplane was not an authorized mode of transportation...” (Exh. 25) That decision was reversed by a hearing representative of the O.W.C.P. on June 22, 1982. (Exh. 25) The claim was later denied because, it was decided, the accident did not occur in the performance of the petitioner's duties as a Federal employee. (Exh. 26) The petitioner appealed, and, on December 11, 1985, a hearing representative of the O.W.C.P. reversed the decision of the district office and found that the petitioner was entitled to benefits. (Exh. 26) The federal government paid benefits for the period of 1981 through 1986. United States v Edgar, 82 F.3d 499,501(1996).1 By 1987, Edgar was alleging total disability due to the airplane accident, and despite government resistance, he eventually secured payments to 1989. Id.

In January 1987, while pursuing his claim for total disability benefits from the Federal government, he was involved in a rear-end automobile accident. He filed claims with his own insurer, Commercial Union, and against the insurance company for the other driver, alleging that he was totally disabled due to back injuries sustained in the automobile accident. To support his claim for lost income, Petitioner submitted to Commercial Union a form, in which he forged the signature of his company's bookkeeper and represented that his accounting company paid him a yearly salary of $45,600.00. In addition, he later submitted copies of what he claimed were his Federal income tax returns for 1985, 1986, and 1987. (Exh. 32) The 1985 and 1986 returns showed income of $62,892.00 and $61,876.00, respectively. United States v Edgar, supra. These returns, however, had never been filed with the Internal Revenue Service, and no returns for those years had been filed by the time of this hearing. Commercial Union settled Edgar's claim in January 1989.

In May of 1991, the petitioner submitted three forms “CA-8” to the O.W.C.P. in an effort to secure workers' compensation payments for certain periods between 1989 and 1991. In the cover letter enclosing the forms, the petitioner requested O.W.C.P. assistance “in any re-employment rights that I have or any retraining available. I would like to try something if my back permits.” (Exh. 31) The forms required the petitioner to set out the details of all salaried and self-employment during the period covered by the application. (Exh.31) Although he “was in fact working as a self-employed accountant during this period,” he did not show any employment, nor did he report that he owned and operated a bar from 1985 to 1990.2 United States v Edgar, supra at 502. In addition, the petitioner attended law school during the period of his alleged disability, ultimately gaining admission to the Massachusetts bar on September 23, 1992. Id. N.2. “[B]ased in part on those forms, [the petitioner] did not receive continuing compensation for the post-1989 period. All told, he received more than $250,00.00 in benefits from the government.” Id.

At the reinstatement hearing, the petitioner suggested that he had been legitimately frustrated by the government's persistent refusal to pay benefits for his substantial injuries, having visited them more than seventy times in Washington, D.C. (Tr. 1:33) He explained that his conviction of making false statements resulted from his simply signing “blank forms” that he had received “out of the blue....” He also testified that he “refused to answer the questions on the form,” which, in any event, he “didn't think.. .needed to be filled out.” (Tr 1:23) The First Circuit specifically rejected the petitioner's gloss on the materiality of the forms: whether or not the information on the forms actually influenced the government's decision on paying benefits, the forms had a “tendency to influence” its decision on paying benefits, which was sufficient to establish materiality. Id. at 510.

In addition to Edgar's convictions for mail fraud and false statements, the petitioner was convicted on March 31, 1987, in Norfolk Family and Probate Court of criminal contempt for failure to make child support payments under the terms of a separation agreement signed by him and incorporated in a judgment of divorce nisi entered on October 11, 1984, in the matter of Cheryl Edgar v Charles Edgar. (Exh. 15, 37) The petitioner was under an obligation to pay $200.00 per week, but from June 1986 through March 1987, he had intentionally failed to make these payments, except for $800.00, despite his apparent ability to do so. The petitioner therefore owed his former wife $7,200.00 for that period. He was sentenced to thirty days of incarceration. On December 19, 1988, the Supreme Judicial Court upheld the conviction. Edgar v Edgar, 403 Mass. 616 (1988) (Exh. 15) At the reinstatement hearing, the petitioner explained his reasons for not paying child support as follows:

The car accident that I got rear ended in when I was taken to the hospital and either that day or the next day I learned that my ex-wife had terminated my health insurance. She's a school teacher in Hingham, and as a result of our divorce agreement she was supposed to keep me on the insurance policy, the health insurance policy, and six months before she had taken me off because of disagreements that we've had.. .and as a result of that, I got stuck, not stuck, but I was forced to out-of-pocket the medical costs and the physical therapy and I didn't send her child support for six months...

(Tr. 1:55) The petitioner reiterated on the second day of hearing that he stopped making child support payments only after the automobile accident in January 1987 that gave rise to his conviction for mail fraud. (Tr. 2:51-52) We do not credit his explanation. The petition for contempt was for failing to make child support payments from June 1986 through March 1987, and the complaint for contempt was filed on October 14, 1986, several weeks before the automobile accident. (Tr. 52), (Exh. 37). The criminal contempt was but one of a long series of claims and counterclaims involving the petitioner and his ex-wife following their divorce in 1984. In November 1991, there was an ongoing proceeding in the Norfolk Probate Court regarding “many allegations” against the petitioner. (Tr. 2:31) At the time, the petitioner was residing with his mother at 32 Nichols Street, Quincy, MA (Tr. 2:36), where, according to his reinstatement questionnaire, he had “continuously” maintained a residence from 1989 to 1995. The petitioner stayed the probate court proceedings by filing a Chapter 7 petition for bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of California, claiming that residence during this same period of time was as 1913 F. Alga Road, Carlsbad, CA, and that his mailing address was 3509 Channey Road (later amended to read Chauncey Road), Oceanside, CA, 92056. (Exh. 36), (Tr. 2:38). At the reinstatement hearing the petitioner specifically was asked if he intended to live in California and make it his residence. He responded that he was going to tell his attorney that he was “back and forth”. (Tr. 2:40-41)

The petitioner identified his social security number on the bankruptcy petition as [deleted] when his true social security number is [deleted]. The petitioner characterized this error as typographical at the reinstatement hearing. (Tr. 2:38)3 He claimed that the street address was also a typographical error. Both mistakes he states were corrected before his wife filed her motion to dismiss. (Tr. 2:38,13-17) The wife alleged that the petitioner was not a resident of California, had used a false social security number, had falsely identified Gerald Ahern as a creditor, and had transferred a mortgage held by the petitioner on the former martial home to Ahern for no consideration. (Tr. 2: 28-39,41-42) On December 4, 1992, the California Bankruptcy Court denied the request to dismiss the petition, but the adversary proceeding was removed to the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts. See Exh. 6, l,(Tr 1:42) The petitioner was discharged in bankruptcy on July 31, 1992, but the adversary proceeding did not conclude until September 1998. (Exh. 7), (Tr. 1:43)4

On July 24, 1998, his wife's Attorney, John C. Ottenberg, conducted a deposition in lieu of testimony of Gerald Ahern, in Connecticut, in connection with the adversary proceeding. The petitioner represented himself at this deposition, and a Connecticut lawyer, Lawrence Kendzior, represented Ahern. (Exh. 9) At the deposition, attorney Ottenberg focused the deposition on the following:

(a) the petitioner had never lived at 3509 Chauncey Road, Oceanside, CA and, in November 1991, another family, the Spencers, lived at that address (Exh. 9:14);

(b) to Gerald's knowledge, the petitioner had never lived at 1913 Fallanger Road, Carlsbad, California, which was owned by Gerald's brother, Ray Ahern, for about a year (Exh. 9:16);

(c) the petitioner did not owe Gerald any money in November or December of 1991 and had never rented an apartment from Gerald (Exh.. 9:18);

(d) Ahern had never purchased or given anything of value for an assignment of a mortgage on the petitioner's former martial property at 2 Wildwood Avenue, Braintree, and had never seen the assignment until he was called before the grand jury. (Exh 9:21-25)

At page 51 of the deposition, Attorney Ottenberg observed that the questions were not relevant or material and stated:

“that unless the questions start becoming relevant and material to the issues in dispute, my intention might be to suspend this deposition and to seek an order of the court terminating your right to ask questions. It seems to me that you're filling up time with irrelevant and immaterial matters, wasting the time of all the people in this room.”

(Exh. 9:51) The petitioner responded that he had a right to “probe the witness's memory” and asked that his examination not be disrupted. (Exh. 9:52) The petitioner continued to examine Ahern regarding the petitioner's vacations in California and whether Ahern saw the petitioner each time he came to California. (Exh 9: 61-62) At about 11:40 a.m., Kendzior stated,

“I'm not going to let him sit here and incur legal fees for my representation today to go through 20 or more years of when he did or didn't see you in California. I'm sure whatever your purpose is for these questions, you can simply accomplish the same purpose in a more summary fashion than what we are currently doing.” (Exh. 9:62-63)

The petitioner then embarked on a mission to ascertain whether Ahern remembered the questions he had been asked at the petitioner's criminal trial and the answers he had given. Kendzior reasonably asked the petitioner whether he was trying to prove what was in the transcript or “trying to prove the facts that were in the answers....” (Exh. 9:75) The petitioner refused to answer the question, (Exh. 9:75-76), but it appears from the record that the petitioner was asking Ahern if he had a “present memory as to testimony.. ..” (Exh. 9:74) The test of Ahern's memory as to the questions asked and the responses he gave at the criminal trial then continued over the next twenty or so pages of the transcript, include such questions as “Do you use that word “possible” in the sense that all things are possible?” and became increasingly incomprehensible. (Exh. 9:76-97) At page 97 of the transcript, Ahern finally asked if this were an “IQ test”, to which the petitioner replied, “Sort of.”

The petitioner eventually began to explore Ahern's understanding of the concepts of “ownership” versus a “mortgage”, with Ahern explaining that “I'm not really sure who the legal owner is” when a bank holds a mortgage on a property. “My guess is as long as I'm making the payments, it's me. If I'm not, it's them. Like I said I'm not sure.” (Exh. 9:98) When the petitioner demanded that the witness repeat his response, Ottenberg said, “He doesn't need to repeat, have the reporter-” The petitioner interrupted, “Shut up, Ottenberg, shut up.” He demanded that there be no further interruptions of the deposition, and Ottenberg replied that the deposition would end at 4:00 p.m. so that the petitioner ought to use his remaining free time “wisely.” (Exh. 9:99) Further on, Kendzior objected to the petitioner's characterization of one of Ahern's answers, noting that the petitioner had asked “a very silly hypothetical question...” and that he was “really not getting anywhere”. The petitioner then told Kendzior to “[s]hut up.” (Exh. 9:107)

At 1:00 p.m., Ottenberg suggested that they break for lunch. (Exh. 9:108) The petitioner suggested returning at 1:45, to which the other parties agreed. (Exh. 9:108-109) Ottenberg again warned that the deposition would conclude at 4:00 p.m. (Exh. 9:108) The deposition reconvened before 1:45 p.m. (Exh 9:110) Nothing relevant was explored in the afternoon session. Following a series of questions regarding tax returns the petitioner had prepared for Ahern in 1980, both Ottenberg and Kendzior objected that the questions were irrelevant and that the petitioner had not shown the returns to Ahern. (Exh 9:150-171) When the petitioner showed the witness a copy of the first two pages of the witness's 1980 tax return, Ottenberg and Kendzior demanded that Ahern be given the remaining pages. (Exh. 9:171) The petitioner refused, telling Kendzior to “[s]end me a letter” (Exh. 9:171).

By page 176 of the transcript, the petitioner had reached the 1981 tax return he had prepared for Ahern, handling over the entire return to Ahern. (Exh. 9:177) Ottenberg then asked to see the entire document, which unreasonably provoked the petitioner. (Exh. 9: 177-181) The petitioner demanded the return of the document; stood up “in a threatening manner” (Exh. 9: 178); and stated “Give it back to me or I physically will take it. You don't think so? Give me back my paper.” (Exh. 9:179) Finally, the petitioner “withdr[e]w” the document. (Exh. 9:180-181) The remainder of the deposition was spent on such questions as when Ahern and his wife first filed a joint return (Exh 9:181), if they filed separately in 1981 (Exh 9:182), whether their gross income was $25,339.00 in that year, and similar questions for tax years 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, and 1988. (Exh. 9:181-197) At 4:00 p.m. Attorney Ottenberg brought the proceedings to a close, with the petitioner protesting that he needed “[j]ust a few more minutes...” (Exh. 9:201) By letter dated August 1, 1998, the petitioner asked Attorney Ottenberg to agree to a continued deposition of Mr. Ahern. (Exh. 38) By letter dated August 5, 1998, Mr. Ottenberg advised that he could not continue with Ahern's deposition. (Exh. 39) That same day, the petitioner filed a motion to enlarge the time for discovery and notice for the deposition of Ahern. In that motion, the petitioner falsely represented that he had “ordered a transcript” of the deposition, but that it would not be available “for several more weeks.” (Exh. 10) In fact, the petitioner had not ordered the transcript. (Tr. 2:47-48) He also purported to quote from the proceedings in his memorandum in support of the motion, based on what he identified at the reinstatement proceedings as his recollection and “notes” (Tr. 2:28) The petitioner made numerous false statements in the motion and memorandum, including the following:

(a) Ottenberg's direct examination did not end until 12:15 p.m., at which time Ottenberg “caustically states at 4:00 p.m. the deposition will cease...” The petitioner also claimed at the reinstatement hearing that his examination did not commence until 12:15. (Tr. 1:44)

(b) The stenographer requested a break for lunch, and the petitioner asked that it be no more than 15 or 20 minutes. Ottenberg insisted on 45 minutes.

(c) Kendzior “grabbed” the petitioner's entire “work file” from him and “rifle[d]” through it over the petitioner's objection. He then delivered “the entire file” to Ottenberg, who also reviewed it.

(d) Towards the end of the deposition, Ahern “refused to respond to inquiries that he was provided Federal immunity for his trial testimony and basis of his Fifth Amendment claim.” (Exh. 10)

Before Ottenberg had a chance to file his opposition to the motion, the court granted it. (Exhs. 11,12) Ottenberg's motion for reconsideration was denied on August 13, 1998. (Exh. 13) On August 10, the petitioner wrote to Ottenberg that he expected to take “an additional twelve (12) to fourteen (14) hours” deposing Ahern. (Exh. 14) The petitioner did not read the actual transcript of the deposition until about August 1999, when he saw it for the first time. (Tr. 2:43) At his reinstatement hearing, he testified that he “[a]bsolutely” had no reservations about his conduct in the deposition, the questions he asked, or his characterization of the deposition in the motion and memorandum that he filed with the court. (Tr. 2:43,46) He in no way believed that he had abused his discovery rights. (Tr. 2:51) His reason for estimating another twelve to fourteen hours of deposition was that he had to question Ahern on the issue of “residency”. (Tr. 2:50) According to the petitioner, “the deposition went favorably” and the case settled soon thereafter. (Tr. 1:45)

In September 1998, the petitioner and his wife settled the adversary proceeding and the probate case by one omnibus settlement agreement. (Tr. 2:60) The agreement was the one proposed in April 1998, except that his wife agreed to keep the petitioner on her health plan at his expense. (Tr. 2:63) The petitioner testified that he was not required by the settlement to pay “any past anything” to the wife but that he was required to pay $200 per week in child support even though one of his two children, his son, had come to live with him in 1991. (Tr. 1:45-47, 2:27)

In fact, only $100 of the weekly payment to his ex-wife was for current support. The petitioner only conceded this fact after he was confronted with the settlement agreement he signed. (Tr. 2:30) The settlement agreement petitioner signed in September 1998 obligates him to pay $100 per week to retire an arrearage of $8,050.00 owed as of the date of the agreement. (Exh. 16, 8) As the stipulation makes clear, the petitioner had stipulated in October 1997 that he owed $12,500 to his wife in child support and he had been ordered back to pay her $100 per week to retire that debt. (Tr. 2:29-30)

The petitioner's reports of his income and ability to engage in employment are contradictory and manifest a disregard for the truth. He initially denied to the hearing panel that he had represented on his tax returns that he was unable to engage in substantial gainful employment due to his disability. (Tr 2:13) Indeed, the petitioner conducts an accounting business in which he prepares tax returns for over sixty clients and is bookkeeper for two companies. (Tr 1:52,15) He also plans to work full time and expand his tax practice to include estate planning and to handle domestic relations and other probate matters if he is reinstated. (Tr. 2:15-16) Nevertheless, the petitioner conceded that he has claimed since 1985 a credit for a disability on his returns which require him to certify that “[d]ue to [his] continued disabled condition, [he is] unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity” for the tax year in question. (Schedule R on Exhs. 33,35), (Tr. 2:17) Although the petitioner has not yet filed his 1998 return, he does plan to claim this credit. (Tr. 2:17)

In addition, the petitioner misrepresented his income on a financial statement he filed in October 1997 to support his opposition to his wife's motion for modification of the child support payments. (Tr. 2:21), (Exh. 34) On the financial statement, the petitioner represented that his gross yearly income in 1996 was $4890.00. (Exh. 34), (Tr. 2:21) On his reinstatement questionnaire, the petitioner reported $36,578.00 as “[m]y total gross income for all months in my taxable calendar year for 1996...” The petitioner also received in 1996 $95 per month in disability payments from the United States Army. The petitioner's 1996 tax return showed $36,578.00 as his total gross receipts or sales for 1996. (Exh. 35, Schedule C), (Tr. 2:20) The petitioner had no comprehensible explanation for the discrepancy between his financial statement and his tax return.

Since January 20, 1995, the petitioner has taken no less than twenty-five continuing legal education courses during the period of his suspension. None of the courses was in ethics or professional responsibility, and he has not taken an ethics course since he passed the MPRE prior to his admission to practice. (Exh. 2), (Tr. 2:86) The petitioner has not “given...any thought” to whether or not he will associate with another lawyer if he is reinstated to the bar. (Tr. 2:17) The petitioner will address that issue if he is reinstated. (Tr. 2:17) Before his suspension from practice, the petitioner volunteered tax and financial counseling to clients of Cape Cod Legal Services, the “Volunteer Lawyers Project,” and a veterans' group. (Tr. 2:4-5) Since his suspension, the petitioner has not engaged in any volunteer activities. When asked why he could not provide services similar to those provided to his tax clients during his suspension, the petitioner answered that he was under “instructions” to “cease and desist all legal activities” and that he “didn't do tax returns” because he did not want to risk having to answer a “legal question.” The petitioner did not explain why the risk of providing tax returns to indigents created a greater risk of practicing law while suspended than handling tax returns for paying clients.

CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

The petitioner must demonstrate in these proceedings that he has the moral qualifications, competency and learning in law required for admission to practice law in this Commonwealth, and that his.. .resumption of the practice of law will not be detrimental to the integrity and standing of the bar, the admission of justice, or to the public interest. S.J.C. Rule 4:01, §18(6) The hearing panel finds that the petitioner has not sustained his burden of proof on any of these requirements. The petitioner has not demonstrated sufficient moral qualifications to be admitted to the bar. The petitioner's felony convictions are affirmative proof that he lacks the required moral qualifications, Matter of Centracchio, Mass. 346 (1963), and the petitioner has not demonstrated his rehabilitation. Matter of Hiss, 368 Mass. 447, 460 (1975). He has limited insight into the wrongfulness of his conduct. It is fair to infer from his testimony that he has chosen instead to blame the government in the case of the false statement convictions and his own personal injury lawyer in the case of the wire fraud conviction. This is not a case where the petitioner insists on his innocence while condemning the crime. Compare Hiss, supra at 455. Instead, the petitioner denigrates the very crimes themselves as either technical offenses or simply the result of his lawyer's failure to ask the right question of him.

The hearing panel also found the petitioner's answers to be evasive, and, time and again, the petitioner had to be forced to concede points made plain by his own tax returns, stipulations, and other exhibits in evidence. Examples of this include whether or not he claimed to be unable to engage in substantial gainful employment, whether his $200 weekly payment to his ex-wife included payments on an arrearage, and whether or not he resided in California in 1991. This lack of candor is pervasive and not simply restricted to the reinstatement proceedings. The petitioner's patiently false claim of residence in California, his false recitation to the bankruptcy court of the events which occurred in the deposition of Gerald Ahern, and the grossly understated income reported to the probate court for 1996 are but three examples of his historically reckless disregard for truth.

The administration of justice would not be advanced by the petitioner's reinstatement. The petitioner's filing for bankruptcy in California during a contested probated proceeding in Norfolk County is evidence of his tendency to manipulate the legal system in bad faith. The petitioner's criminal contempt of the probate court's orders is another example, and, while that contempt occurred a number of years ago, his justifying the contempt falsely claiming that it was prompted by his wife's own disobedience of the court's order occurred in the reinstatement proceeding. The deposition of Gerald Ahern, followed by his false characterization of events of the deposition to the Bankruptcy Court in his quest to continue the deposition, also demonstrates that the petitioner's reinstatement would not be in the interest of the administration of justice. Although the petitioner has taken a number of continuing legal education courses, he has not demonstrated learning in law. He had no reservations about any of his conduct in the Ahern deposition or the relevancy of his questions. His claim as to the requirements of Rule 401 of the Supplemental Probate Rules has no foundation, and his explanation of that rule is best described as double talk. He has not pursed any courses in ethics since his suspension. It is notable that not one person came forward to endorse the petition. There was virtually no evidence of rehabilitation. Given all this, it can not be in the public interest to reinstate the petitioner.

RECOMMENDATION

For the above-stated reasons, the hearing panel recommends that the petition for reinstatement is denied.

Respectfully Submitted,

Anthony W. Fugate, Chair
Cynthia J. Cohen
Maryanne Frangules

FOOTNOTES

1 United States v Edgar, upheld the petitioner's conviction of making false statements on his Federal workers' compensation claims and of mail fraud arising from a 1987 automobile accident. The reported decision is part of Exhibit 1. The petitioner acknowledged that the decision states the facts of his conviction.(Tr. 2:3)

2 The bar in question is Nana's Pub. (Tr 2:9) When Nana's Pub ceased operations, the petitioner claimed the total loss on his tax returns as the sole stockholder in the company. He has carried over the unabsorbed loss each year on his tax returns since at least 1991. (Tr 2:8-10)

3 The petitioner analogized the typographical error in his social security number to a typographical error in the number on the judgment of conviction. The petitioner's actual social security number is [deleted]. See Exh. 35. The number reported on his bankruptcy petition was [deleted]. The number reported on the judgment of conviction was [deleted]. The transposition of two digits on the judgment of conviction is a far cry from the entirely new number typed on the bankruptcy petition.

4 The petitioner was indicted for bankruptcy fraud along with other offenses. The Federal court entered a judgment of acquittal on those charges because the court considered the petitioner's desire to cause a hardship to his wife by filing in California inadequate to demonstrate fraud (Exh. 30: 173), the bankruptcy proceedings were still pending (Exh. 30:174), and because the fraud, if any, occurred in California and not in Massachusetts.



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