03 June, 2014: An attorney at Livingston was brought to court due to the alleged taking of $100k from the bank account of his client Doris Cox, a ninety one years old elementary school teacher who after her retirement has turned her attention to a different field and worked as a veterinary technician. Her lawyer, Michael Luciano was introduced to her by a friend for her will to be redrawn. It was late in the year 2005, around the month of December that he appointed Luciano as her power of attorney.
The case in question: Attorney disbarred for taking $100K from client days before she died
This wrongdoing was spotted last August 2009 when the Office of Attorney Ethics has conducted a random audit. It was found out that a bank transfer of money amounting to $100,000 was made days before his client died. It raised the brows of the investigator because how come Cox had made a transfer to such huge amount to him? He tried to defend himself but the state court officials do not believe any of what he is telling them. Moreover, they found that the story presented by Luciano is way too different from what he is trying to say. In short, there are inconsistencies on his statement.
The act of defending himself
In order to defend himself from these allegations, he told the officials that the amount he has withdrawn from the account of his deceased client is considered as a “gift”. It is a gift for the years of service that he had offered to her. However, the officials did not thoroughly believe about it because Luciano cannot show any written evidence that contains the permission given by Cox to him that he is allowed to transfer such amount. The problem is that when you are being questioned in the court, verbal agreements are considered useless. What the court needs are documents that will prove that you are saying the truth. In the event that you cannot provide these, no matter how you assert your stand if the evidences are not visible, you cannot do anything for it.
The verdict of the court
Because it is considered misconduct and a serious offense too, Luciano is subject for disbarment. However, the camp of Luciano is asking for a reconsideration, saying that Michael did nothing wrong. Whether true or not, to see is to believe is the ruling in the court.
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