Login | April 23, 2017

31 victims of attorney theft awarded more than $180,000

Supreme Court
Public Information Office

Published: March 20, 2017

The Board of Commissioners of the Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection awarded a $75,000 maximum claim as part of $180,445.18 distributed to 31 victims of attorney theft at its meeting March 3. Thirteen former or suspended Ohio attorneys were found to have misappropriated client funds. Three deceased attorneys also were involved in claims.

Cuyahoga County

The board determined that former clients of six attorneys were eligible for reimbursement.

• A former client of deceased attorney Carl F. Gillombardo Jr. was reimbursed $1,500 as a result of Gillombardo’s failure to complete the services requested before his death on April 22, 2015.

• A former client of former attorney Matthew J. King was reimbursed $300 as a result of King’s failure to provide the services requested. King’s license to practice law in Ohio was suspended on Dec. 21, 2016.

• A former client of deceased attorney Donald R. Murphy was reimbursed $6,990 as a result of Murphy’s failure to complete the services requested before his death on Feb. 14, 2016.

• A former client of former attorney Kevin Purcell was reimbursed $48,935.43 as a result of Purcell’s conversion of client funds. Purcell resigned from the practice of law in Ohio, with discipline pending, on May 28, 2015.

• Two former clients of suspended attorney Guy D. Rutherford were reimbursed a total of $9,100 as a result of Rutherford’s failure to provide the services requested. Rutherford’s license to practice law in Ohio was suspended on Feb. 1.

• A former client of former attorney William L. Summers was reimbursed $5,000 as a result of Summers’ failure to provide the services requested. Summers resigned from the practice of law in Ohio, with discipline pending, on Oct. 20, 2016.

Delaware County

A former client of former attorney Jennifer L. Coriell was reimbursed $12,500 as a result of Coriell’s failure to provide the services requested. Coriell resigned from the practice of law in Ohio, with discipline pending, on Dec. 16, 2016.

Fairfield County

A former client of deceased attorney Ronald C. Stoughton Sr. was reimbursed $1,000 as a result of Stoughton’s failure to complete the services requested before his death on March 26, 2016.

Franklin County

The board awarded reimbursement to former clients of two attorneys.

• Two former clients of suspended attorney Mohammed Noure Alo were reimbursed a total of $2,000 as a result of Alo’s failure to provide the services requested. Alo’s license to practice law in Ohio was suspended on Jan. 22, 2016.

• A former client of suspended attorney Joseph D. Reed was reimbursed $375 as a result of Reed’s failure to provide the services requested. Reed’s license to practice law in Ohio was suspended on Nov. 14, 2016.

Huron County

Thirteen former clients of suspended attorney Charles R. Smith III were reimbursed a total of $12,205 as a result of Smith’s failure to provide the services requested. Smith’s license to practice law in Ohio was suspended indefinitely on March 10, 2016.

Licking County

A former client of former attorney Stephanie G. Gussler was reimbursed $1,000 as a result of Gussler’s failure to provide the services requested. Gussler resigned from the practice of law in Ohio, with discipline pending, on Sept. 26, 2016.

Morrow County

Two former clients of former attorney William M. Adams were reimbursed a total of $2,499.75 as a result of Adams’ failure to provide the services requested. Adams resigned from the practice of law in Ohio, with discipline pending, on April 18, 2014.

Shelby County

A former client of former attorney Joshua S. Albright was reimbursed $1,540 as a result of Albright’s failure to provide the services requested. Albright resigned from the practice of law in Ohio, with discipline pending, on June 10, 2016.

Trumbull County

The board awarded reimbursement to former clients of two attorneys.

* A former client of suspended attorney Timothy E. Bellew was reimbursed $500 as a result of Bellew’s failure to provide the services requested. Bellew’s license to practice of law in Ohio was suspended on Jan. 24.

• The ex-spouse of a former client of former attorney David K. Roland was reimbursed the maximum award amount of $75,000 as a result of Roland’s failure to account for funds deposited with him. Rolandwas disbarred from the practice of law in Ohio on Aug. 31, 2016.

The Ohio Supreme Court created the Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection in 1985 to reimburse victims of attorney theft, embezzlement or misappropriation. The fund is not taxpayer funded, but is funded primarily by registration fees paid by every Ohio attorney. Ohio has more than 44,000 attorneys engaged in the active practice of law with less than 1 percent involved in claims reimbursed by the fund.

Law clients who believe they have sustained financial losses resulting from attorney theft, embezzlement, or misappropriation should contact the fund by calling 614.387.9390 or 1.800.231.1680.


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