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No. BD97-059

 

IN RE: JOHN P. CONROY

Last known address:
379 Atlantic Ave.
Cohasset, MA 02025

JUDGMENT OF DISBARMENT

This matter came before the Court, Marshall, J., on an Affidavit of Resignation submitted by John P. Conroy pursuant to S.J.C. Rule 4:01, Sect. 15(2) and the Recommendation and Vote of the Board of Bar Overseers filed by the Board on July 7, 1999.

Upon consideration thereof, it is ORDERED and ADJUDGED that JOHN P. CONROY is hereby disbarred from the practice of law in the Commonwealth retroactive to November 3, 1997, the date of his temporary Suspension, and the lawyer's name is forthwith stricken from the Roll of Attorneys.

By the Court (Marshall, J.)

Entered: July 14, 1999

SUMMARY1

This matter came before the Court on the respondent's affidavit of resignation pursuant to Supreme Judicial Court Rule 4:01, Sect. 15.

On November 3, 1997, the respondent was temporarily suspended from the practice of law pending further disciplinary proceedings. Matter of Conroy, 13 Mass. Att'y Disc. R 104. On March 22, 1999, the respondent pleaded guilty in Suffolk Superior Court to one count of embezzlement by a trustee and three counts of willful filing of a false income tax return. He was sentenced to concurrent terms of imprisonment of two years in the House of Corrections, which he is now serving.

The facts underlying the conviction were developed by the Criminal Investigation Bureau of the Department of Revenue based upon their review of the estate tax return filed by the respondent for the estate of a 1993 decedent. Under the terms of the decedent's will, all of his assets were left to three charities. The respondent, who was a CPA as well as an attorney, was named executor and was so appointed. The estate tax return showed a gross estate valued on the date of death at $1.4 million, including real estate valued at $133,000 (now owed by the devisee) and savings accounts, certificates of deposit, and stocks.

The circumstances underlying the conviction of embezzlement by a trustee are as follows. The respondent properly liquidated the decedent's savings accounts, certificates of deposit, and stocks. However, the respondent paid only $400,000 total of these assets to the charities. He embezzled the remaining balance and converted it to his own use by paying $863,000 to himself in 1993 and 1994. During this time period, the respondent misrepresented to the legatees the status of the estate and the amount each was due and failed to provide them with a full and accurate accounting.

The conviction of willful filing of false income tax returns also in part involved this same estate. The respondent paid $843,000 of the estate's assets to himself in 1993 and another $20,000 in 1994. On his personal income tax return for 1993, however, he reported only $235,000 of receipts from this estate. On the 1994 return, he reported $400,000 in income from the estate, more than he in fact received that year. The $635,000 total reported for 1993 and 1994 was still less than the $863,000 actually obtained.

In addition, in each of those two years as well as the previous year 1992, the respondent also had substantial income from his former employment with a major accounting firm. The respondent offset that income by listing substantial partnership losses and did so by fraudulently altering the K-1 reporting forms to increase the amount of his losses, in one instance by as much as $600,000.

The respondent signed the tax returns for each of these three years, 1992-1994, under the penalties of perjury. He then intentionally filed tax returns that were false in a material manner.

The above convictions were for serious crimes as defined by Supreme Judicial Court Rule 4:01, Sect. 12 and constituted violations of Canon One, DR 1-102(A)(4),(6) and Canon Nine, DR 9-102(A),(B)(3),(4).

On April 26, 1999, the respondent submitted his affidavit of resignation from the practice of law. The affidavit admitted that the materials facts upon which the convictions were predicated were true. On June 14, 1999, the Board of Bar Overseers voted to recommend that the affidavit of resignation be accepted and that an order of disbarment be entered retroactive to the date of the temporary suspension. The Court so ordered on July 14, 1999.

1 Compiled by the Board of Bar Overseers based on the record filed with the Supreme Judicial Court.





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