Tuesday, October 22, 2013
State Bar Says San Diego Lawyer Agrees to Surrender License Over Credit Repair Scheme Involving Layman
By a MetNews Staff Writer
A San Diego-based attorney has agreed to surrender his law license for participating in a scam that took advantage of hundreds of consumers desperate to repair their credit, the State Bar said yesterday.
The State Bar website shows that Ernest George Georggin was placed on inactive status yesterday. In a press release, the bar explained that Georginn, 68, joined in a stipulation for disbarment that was filed with the State Bar Court on Friday.
Georginn agreed to pay $90,061 in restitution to 25 former clients, plus 10 percent interest per year from the date that each paid Georggin Law for credit repair services, the State Bar said. The stipulation represents just a portion of the 650 former clients believed to have paid the law firm advanced fees for services it did not ultimately perform, the release added.
His agreed-upon disbarment must be approved by the California Supreme Court, but he cannot practice law in the interim.
According to the stipulation, Georggin allowed non-attorney Eric Phillips to open a credit repair law firm in 2010 using Georgginís name. Georggin turned the law firm over to Phillips and other non-attorneys, collecting a salary while Phillips exercised full authority and control over the firm, from staffing to managing firm bank accounts.
Georggin was also not involved in evaluating or deciding whether to accept new clients, and did not supervise the firmís non-attorney staff, which was allowed to perform limited legal services.
Georggin closed the firm in June of this year, taking custody and control of the 650 client files. According to the stipulation, he has not performed any legal services of value on behalf of 25 clients named in the stipulation and has not returned any portion of the advanced fees they paid the firm.
By entering into the stipulation, Georggin admitted he is culpable of violations that include aiding a non-lawyer in the unauthorized practice of law, sharing fees with a non-lawyer, failing to perform legal services of value, failing to return advanced fees, failing to participate in the State Barís disciplinary investigation, and committing acts constituting moral turpitude, the State Bar said. Georggin also engaged in the unauthorized practice of law and collected an illegal fee by accepting employment from a client who resides in Florida, where Georggin is not admitted to practice law.
Copyright 2013, Metropolitan News Company