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ASBPE award
 
Disbarments
  1. STEPHEN LYSTER SIRINGORINGO
  2. WILLIAM FRANK VOGEL
  3. LOYD LEE BROWN JR.
  4. WENDY ALICIA HARTE
  5. JOHNNY SISON ASCANO
  6. DAVID HALL FREDRICKSON
  7. SCOTT STONE MEHLER
  8. NICHOLAS ANTHONY NETTY JR.
  9. KEVIN MOORE O’CASEY
  10. MARK ABRAM POSNER
  11. JAMES MICHAEL POWELL
  12. ROGER JAY ROSEN
  13. SCOTT LOREN STEEVER
  14. MICHAEL KENNETH BEYRIES
  15. MATTHEW C. TYE

 

STEPHEN LYSTER SIRINGORINGO [#264161], 34, of Garden Grove, was disbarred March 12, 2015 and ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court.

Siringoringo stipulated to charging upfront fees for loan modification work and aiding in the unauthorized practice of law in 14 matters. In mitigation, Siringoringo entered into a pretrial stipulation and refunded all of the advanced fees paid by the clients.

At the time of his stipulation, the State Bar Court was recommending Siringoringo be suspended for charging upfront fees in another 20 loan modification matters, but the case was still on appeal before the court’s Review Department. It was closed with his disbarment.

WILLIAM FRANK VOGEL [#119421], 59, of Van Nuys, was disbarred March 12, 2015 and ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court and make restitution.

Vogel stipulated that in July 2013, when he was not an active member of the bar, he agreed to acquire court documents for a woman who mistakenly believed only an attorney could access them. He charged her $1,000, but did not obtain the documents or perform any other service of value and did not refund her money. When he was contacted by a State Bar investigator looking into the allegations against him, he did not respond.

In another matter, Vogel had agreed to represent a defendant in two criminal cases. He failed to appear in court on eight occasions, despite having notice of the hearings. In July 2013, the court ordered him to appear in one of the matters, but he did not show up. He also did not respond to a State Bar investigators letters inquiring about misconduct allegations in that case.

Vogel also did not comply with the terms of his disciplinary probation resulting from his July 2013 suspension. He did not submit two quarterly reports to the Office of Probation and in one of the reports he failed to include proof of payment of $4,500 in judicial sanctions. In mitigation, he entered into a pretrial stipulation with the State Bar.

He had been suspended on two prior occasions. In 2014, he was suspended for failing to perform legal services with competence or keep a client reasonably informed of developments in a matter. In 2013, he was suspended for failing to obey a court’s order to attend a case management conference, pay $4,500 in sanctions or submit documents for and attend a final status conference. He also did not participate in a court-ordered mediation, attend four other court hearings in the case or report the court sanctions to the State Bar.

LOYD LEE BROWN JR. [#195240], 63, of Kings Beach, was disbarred March 25, 2015 and ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court.

Brown was disbarred after his default was entered for failing to respond to a notice of disciplinary charges against him. Because he did not seek to have the default set aside with 180 days as required under rule 5.85 of the State Bar’s Rules of Procedure, the State Bar moved to disbar him.

The charges were deemed admitted. Brown failed to comply with conditions of his probation by not contacting the Office of Probation by deadline to schedule a meeting, not meeting with the probation deputy, not submitting four quarterly reports and not providing proof of having completed Ethics School. He also, in another matter, failed to communicate with a client by not responding to multiple calls and emails, improperly withdrew from a case for failing to take any action on his client’s behalf for nearly three months prior to executing a substitution of counsel and failed to advise his client, in writing, that he had a business relationship with another entity that would be negatively affected by the resolution of his client’s matter.

Brown had one prior record of discipline. In 2012, he was suspended after stipulating to three counts of misconduct, including splitting fees with a non-attorney and failing to competently perform legal services or refund an unearned fee.

WENDY ALICIA HARTE [#243230], 42, of Santa Monica, was disbarred March 12, 2015 and ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court.

Harte failed to respond to a notice of disciplinary charges filed by the State Bar and her default was entered. The bar moved to disbar her under rule 5.85 of the Rules of Procedure because she made no effort to set aside the default within 180 days.

The charges were deemed admitted: Harte failed to file a declaration of compliance with rule 9.20 as required by an earlier disciplinary order.

Harte was disciplined on two prior occasions, the most recent of which was a 2013 suspension for failing to file five quarterly reports or provide proof of attendance at ethics school. In the underlying matter, Harte held herself out as an attorney when she was not eligible to practice law.

JOHNNY SISON ASCANO [#166219], 51, of Los Angeles, was disbarred March 25, 2015 and ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court.

In 2006, Ascano settled a client’s personal injury case but delayed paying her for several years and ended up misappropriating $20,000. He also misled the client into thinking he was still working on her case. In addition, he mismanaged his client trust account and failed to maintain client ledgers or an account journal for about 10 years. As a result, the client could not use the money and had trouble paying for her education. He did not repay the money he owed her until 2012.

In mitigation, he cooperated with the State Bar, presented evidence of his good character and showed remorse for his misconduct.

Ascano had one prior record of discipline, a 2003 private reproval for failing to perform with competence and improperly withdrawing from employment.

DAVID HALL FREDRICKSON [#42810], 76, of Hermosa Beach, was disbarred March 26, 2015 and ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court and make restitution.

The State Bar Court found Fredrickson culpable of misappropriation in two client matters. In one matter, Fredrickson disregarded his duties as an escrow agent by improperly dispersing funds he was supposed to be holding in his client trust account. Per an agreement Fredrickson entered into, he was required to keep $150,000 advanced to help an entertainment venture secure a standby letter of credit. Fredrickson was supposed to return the money, minus certain fees, if the standby letter of credit was not secured within seven days of the money being deposited. Instead, at the instruction of a client associated with one of the motion picture companies involved, he began disbursing the money. When efforts to get the standby letter of credit fell through, the escrow funds were gone. Fredrickson made payments to the investor after a civil action and a State Bar complaint were filed against him.

In another matter, which also involved a standby letter of credit, Fredrickson failed to live up to his duties as an escrow agent by improperly dispersing $200,000 in funds that should have been held in his trust account.  As in the other matter, the deal didn’t go through and the financial backer asked for his money back, only to learn it was gone.

Frederickson was ordered to pay $198,000 in restitution.

In mitigation, he had no prior record of discipline, cooperated with the State Bar and presented evidence of his good character.

SCOTT STONE MEHLER [#190014], 43, of Long Beach, was disbarred March 25, 2015 and ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court and pay restitution.

Mehler stipulated that within a five-month period in 2013 he misappropriated $1.4 million of his client’s money, spending it on personal expenses. In April of that year, Mehler had been hired to serve as local counsel for to Amerector Inc., the American holding company of a Canadian company known as Canerector. Amerector was purchasing a California company and wire transferred $1.4 million into Mehler’s trust account for the sale.

Although he was tasked with acting as the escrow agent, Mehler transferred $1,856,223.89, which included the $1.4 million, from his trust account into his firm’s money market account. For several months after the close of escrow, Mehler made repeated excuses and engaged in trickery, including falsifying records, to try to hide from the parties involved that he had spent the money.

Though he ended up wiring some of the money, he told the attorney representing the company that was sold that he could not pay the remaining $916,437.84, saying he lost it on “bad investments.” He then emailed the attorney with a proposed payment plan saying he wanted it kept confidential and asked that no legal action be taken against him. He attempted to issue three checks to cover the loss, which were returned for insufficient funds on Jan. 17, 2014. The sellers and Amerector then sued Mehler, and he made partial restitution of $268,642.47.

Mehler was ordered to pay $916,437.84 plus interest in restitution.

In mitigation, he had no prior record of discipline and entered into a pretrial stipulation with the State Bar.

NICHOLAS ANTHONY NETTY JR. [#69225], 65, of Orange, was disbarred March 25, 2015 and ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court and pay restitution.

Netty was disbarred after his default was entered for failing to respond to a notice of disciplinary charges against him. Because he did not seek to have the default set aside within 180 days as required under rule 5.85 of the State Bar’s Rules of Procedure, the State Bar moved to disbar him and the charges were deemed admitted.

Netty was found culpable of seven counts of failing to refund unearned fees, six counts of moral turpitude/misappropriation, five counts of failing to deposit client funds in his trust account, four counts of failing to respond to client inquiries, four counts of failing to release client files, moral turpitude/misrepresentation and issuing checks against insufficient funds.

Netty was ordered to pay $21,520 plus interest in restitution.

KEVIN MOORE O’CASEY [#159858], 60, of Fresno, was disbarred March 27, 2015 and ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court.

Casey was disbarred after his default was entered for failing to respond to a notice of disciplinary charges against him. He did not seek to have the default set aside so the bar moved to disbar him under rule 5.85 of the State Bar’s Rules of Procedure.

The charges were deemed admitted. In one matter, O’Casey failed to perform competently by not serving a petition for legal separation that he’d filed for his client and taking no other action on her behalf. He also did not return 12 phone calls from the client asking for an update on her case.

In addition, he failed to update his membership records with the State Bar.

O’Casey had three prior records of discipline. In November 2013, he was suspended for failing to respond promptly to a client’s reasonable status inquiries, cooperate and participate in disciplinary investigations, comply with conditions attached to a public reproval or inform a client of significant developments in a matter in which he agreed to provide legal services.

In 2011, he received a public reproval for failing to perform legal services with competence. In 2005, he received a private reproval for failing to respond to reasonable status inquiries of a client in one matter and ceasing to perform services and failing to take reasonable steps to avoid reasonably foreseeable prejudice to a client in another matter.

MARK ABRAM POSNER [#94714], 63, of Culver City, was disbarred March 27, 2015 and ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court and pay restitution.

Posner was disbarred after his default was entered for failing to respond to a notice of disciplinary charges. Because he did not seek to have the default set aside or vacated within 180 days as required under rule 5.85 of the State Bar’s Rules of Procedure, he was disbarred and the charges against him deemed admitted.

Posner failed to communicate with his clients or refund unearned fees by not returning any part of the $5,000 in advanced fees his clients paid him. He also violated rule 9.20 by not filing a declaration of compliance.

He was ordered to pay $5,000 plus interest in restitution.

Posner had one prior record of discipline: a 2013 suspension for commingling personal funds in a client trust account, failing to participate and cooperate in a disciplinary investigation and holding himself out as entitled to practice law to opposing counsel and the court when his State Bar license was not active.

JAMES MICHAEL POWELL [#165639], 52, of Riverside, was disbarred March 27, 2015 and ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court and make restitution.

Powell was disbarred after his default was entered for failing to appear at trial. Because he did not seek to have the default set aside within 90 days as required under rule 5.85 of the State Bar’s Rules of Procedure, he was disbarred and the charges against him were deemed admitted.

Powell was found culpable of 37 counts of misconduct in 17 client matters, including moral turpitude, improper withdrawal from employment and failing to perform legal services with competence, refund unearned fees, respond to reasonable client status inquiries, render accounts of client funds, return client papers/property, keep his clients informed of significant developments or take steps to avoid reasonably foreseeable prejudice to his clients. Powell also failed to comply with rule 9.20 as required by an earlier discipline by not filing a declaration of compliance.

Powell was ordered to pay $28,320 plus interest in restitution.

He had two prior records of discipline. In July 2012, he was suspended for failing to return a client file, refund unearned fees, avoid interests adverse to a client or perform. He was suspended again in June 2013 for improperly withdrawing from employment and failing to perform, communicate, render an accounting, cooperate with the State Bar or refund unearned fees.

ROGER JAY ROSEN [#48573], 70, of Los Angeles, was disbarred March 27, 2015 and ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court.

In July 2013, Rosen stipulated that by participating in a conspiracy to obstruct justice, he committed acts involving moral turpitude. Among other things, Rosen passed the confidential proffer notes of one of his clients to members of a drug organization about whom his client was providing information to law enforcement. In doing so, Rosen was aware of the high probability that the drug organization would use the information to try and prevent his client from communicating with law enforcement and to obstruct the investigation.

In mitigation, Rosen had no prior record of discipline in roughly 40 years of practicing law.

SCOTT LOREN STEEVER [#180189], 58, of Rohnert Park, was disbarred March 27, 2015 and ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court and make restitution.

Steever failed to respond to a notice of disciplinary charges filed by the State Bar, and his default was entered. The bar moved to disbar him under rule 5.85 of the State Bar’s Rules of Procedure because he made no move to have the default set aside within 180 days.

The charges were deemed admitted. Steever misappropriated client funds and failed to deposit client funds in his trust account, promptly pay client funds, release a client file or report a civil judgment against him. The misconduct occurred in three client matters.

Steever was ordered to pay $263,947 plus interest in restitution.

MICHAEL KENNETH BEYRIES [#187562], 66, of Santa Rosa, was disbarred March 25, 2015 and ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court and make restitution.

Beyries was disbarred after his default was entered for failing to appear at trial in his disciplinary case. Because he did not seek to have the default set aside or vacated within 90 days as required under rule 5.85 of the State Bar’s Rules of Procedure, he was disbarred and the charges against him were deemed admitted.

Beyries misappropriated $25,000 intended for client Northbay Wellness Group’s defense for his own use. In addition, he failed to perform legal services competently, misrepresented the status of the company’s lease and misrepresented that he’d filed the appropriate nonprofit and tax-exempt documents and that the company was a nonprofit and tax-exempt organization. He also failed to return unearned legal fees or render accounts of client funds.

Beyries was ordered to pay $13,438.50 plus interest in restitution.

MATTHEW C. TYE [#232873], 36, of Irvine, was summarily disbarred March 27, 2015 and ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court.

On Dec. 13, 2013, Tye pleaded guilty to five felony counts of oral copulation with a minor and three felony counts of sexual intercourse with a minor, offenses that met the criteria for summary disbarment.

. Caution!  More than 200,000 attorneys are eligible to practice law in California. Many attorneys share the same names. All discipline reports are taken from State Bar Court documents and should be read carefully for names, ages, addresses and bar numbers. Read the Discipline Key for an explanation of the different levels of disciplinary action. Use Attorney Search to check an attorney's official bar membership record.