Monday, September 17, 2012
Diamond Bar Attorney Faces Disbarment After Failing to Appear
By a MetNews Staff Writer
A Diamond Bar attorney accused of a massive loan modification fraud that victimized more than 50 distressed homeowners is facing disbarment by default, the State Bar said Friday in a release.
The release said the State Bar Court filed an order last Tuesday declaring Anthony J. Kassas, 35, in default in what it called “the most extensive disciplinary charging document in recent State Bar history – 285 counts of misconduct involving 56 clients, contained within a 260-page notice of disciplinary charges filed April 6.”
Kassas is on involuntary inactive status pending disbarment, the State Bar said. He can move to set the default aside, otherwise the State Bar Court will recommend that his right to practice be revoked.
Kassas was one of several southern California attorneys charged with misconduct as a result of joint investigation by the State Bar’s Office of Chief Trial Counsel and the Attorney General’s office into law firms and marketing companies running so-called “mass joinder” frauds. In these schemes, homeowners were told they were potential plaintiffs in a “national litigation settlement,” and that their foreclosures would be stayed, their loan balances reduced or their mortgages torn up.
Kassas was accused of improperly soliciting clients, collecting unlawful advance fees, failing to provide proper accounting of funds and aiding the unauthorized practice of law by non-lawyers.
State Bar Court Judge Donald F. Miles found that Kassas was served a notice to appear to testify at his trial on Sept. 5 but only his attorney showed up.
The judge then issued an order that Kassas appear on Sept. 6 and again on Sept. 10, but he failed to appear on either occasion, resulting in the default.
Copyright 2012, Metropolitan News Company