After a hearing Friday, four Texas attorneys convicted of child pornography, sexual abuse, and bank, health care and marriage fraud are facing losing their law licenses in compulsory disciplinary proceedings.
The attorneys’ compulsory-discipline cases are scheduled before the Texas Board of Disciplinary Appeals, which the State Bar of Texas Commission for Lawyer Discipline has asked to disbar the lawyers.
The commission typically files for compulsory discipline when attorneys are convicted of crimes that fit the disciplinary procedural rules’ definitions of “intentional” and “serious.”
Here’s a look at the four lawyers facing disbarment.
Dallas lawyer Tshombe Ali Anderson faced a 2017 charge of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, and he pleaded guilty in 2018.
He was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison and ordered to pay $26.6 million in restitution.
He appealed, and the disciplinary board in 2018 suspended his law license during the appeal. Then in February, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit dismissed Anderson’s appeal. The lawyer discipline commission now seeks his disbarment.
The criminal information in Anderson’s case said he created three durable medical equipment companies, and he and his family members conspired in a scheme to defraud a health care benefit program by submitting false, fraudulent claims for durable medical equipment, the information said.
Houston solo practitioner Kirk Lawrence Brannan in 2015 was charged with conspiracy and bank fraud, entered a 2018 plea agreement, and pleaded guilty to the bank fraud charge. He was sentenced to 36 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $5.3 million in restitution. He’s appealing his conviction. The commission argued in a May 28 petition for compulsory discipline that the disciplinary board should suspend his law license during his appeal.
Brannan is a real estate and tax lawyer, and was the agent of Beach Candy, which bought and sold beach houses.
His plea agreement said that financial lenders lost $5.3 million from Brannan’s participation in a mortgage fraud scheme from 2005 to 2009 in which Brannan sold 10 beach homes in Freeport to “straw buyers” who couldn’t repay the loans.
He was sentenced to a light 3 years and 3 years probation by Chief Judge Rosenthal, SDTX.
The banks relied on false information in mortgage loan applications to approve the loans, and relied on flawed appraisals with improperly inflated home values to determine the amount of the loans.
Brannan is the one who created the improperly inflated home prices, because he sold three comparable homes to his children at exorbitant prices.
Brannan and his co-defendants would skim the excess loan funds from the transactions, according to court pleadings. The homes went into foreclosure and the banks lost money.
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Dallas lawyer Bilal Ahmed Khaleeq practiced immigration, family law and bankruptcy law. He was charged in 2017 with conspiracy to commit marriage fraud, and he pleaded guilty in 2018.
Khaleeq was sentenced to six months in federal prison and fined $10,000.
He appealed, and the disciplinary board in 2018 suspended his law license. The Fifth Circuit dismissed his appeal in September 2018, and the lawyer discipline commission now seeks his disbarment.
The indictment in Khaleeq’s case said that he solicited a U.S. citizen to marry his legal assistant so that his employee could obtain lawful permanent residence. They filed false and fraudulent immigration forms during the scheme, according to the pleading.
The disciplinary appeals board in 2015 suspended the law license of New Jersey lawyer James William Richards IV, after he was court-martialed in 2013 and found guilty of child pornography, sexual abuse of a child and failure to obey an order.
He was sentenced to 17 years in the Air Force Correction System and dismissed from the service.
He appealed his conviction, but the U.S. Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed his court-martial in 2017. The lawyer discipline commission now seeks Richards’ disbarment.
Claire Reynolds, spokeswoman for the Texas Bar’s Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment. Neither did Brannon nor Khaleeq. A number listed for Anderson was disconnected, and a person answering the phone at a number listed for Richards said there was no one there by that name.