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Disciplinary Reporter Case Digest

Attorney ID 80582
Attorney Name McCaughan, Daniel L.
DBP Docket No. 117 DB 2006
Supreme Court Docket No. No. 1186 D.D. No. 3
County Chester
Disciplinary Counsel Harold E. Ciampoli, Jr.
Counsel for Respondent Michael OíHayer
Decision Date 2006-10-13
Effective Date 2006-11-12
Case Digest Complainantís son was arrested in San Paolo Brazil and charged with trafficking 20 kg. of cocaine. Shortly after, Respondent met with Complainant and his family and represented to them that he could assist in obtaining the return of their son. Respondent claimed to have had dealings with an influential Columbian law firm which had a member named Juromo. Respondent explained that, for a fee of $150,000.00, the firm would work behind the scenes in investigative and security matters in connection with the sonís criminal charges. Respondent ensured that he would deliver the funds to the firm. Complainant then provided Respondent with $138,500.00 cash. Respondent contends that he delivered the money to an individual in Canada, who ultimately delivered the funds to Juromo. Complainant subsequently retained a Brazilian law firm to defend his son and ultimately the charges were dismissed. Respondent acknowledged that his handling of the Complainantís money fell far short of the care required of a professional fiduciary and that he did not obtain the proper records, receipts and documentation to adequately safeguard his clientís property.
Rule Violation(s) RPC 1.8(e); 1.15(a)
Discipline Imposed Suspension for one year
Points of Law Complainantís son was arrested in San Paolo Brazil and charged with trafficking 20 kg. of cocaine. Shortly after, Respondent met with Complainant and his family and represented to them that he could assist in obtaining the return of their son. Respondent claimed to have had dealings with an influential Columbian law firm which had a member named Juromo. Respondent explained that, for a fee of $150,000.00, the firm would work behind the scenes in investigative and security matters in connection with the sonís criminal charges. Respondent ensured that he would deliver the funds to the firm. Complainant then provided Respondent with $138,500.00 cash. Respondent contends that he delivered the money to an individual in Canada, who ultimately delivered the funds to Juromo. Complainant subsequently retained a Brazilian law firm to defend his son and ultimately the charges were dismissed. Respondent acknowledged that his handling of the Complainantís money fell far short of the care required of a professional fiduciary and that he did not obtain the proper records, receipts and documentation to adequately safeguard his clientís property.
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