Florida Lawyer Is in Big Trouble

     (CN) – The Florida Bar seeks emergency suspension of an attorney who admitted stealing more than $3 million from clients, two of whom sued him separately, claiming he stole the $112,000 from them.
     The Florida Bar filed a Petition for Emergency Suspension of Timothy Patrick McCabe, with the Florida Supreme Court.
     “The Bar’s investigation of this matter has indicated that respondent has misappropriated in excess of 3 million dollars,” the Bar says in its petition.
     The Bar says McCabe’s partner, Thomas Samiljan, notified it that McCabe sent him, and their clients, an email in early April “that indicated the respondent had engaged in wrongdoing.”
     That’s putting it mildly. According to the Bar’s petition: “Respondent’s e-mail to Mr. Samiljan and others stated the following:
     “‘I love each of you. You are all victims of my very bad business decisions. I have done things unknown to any of you that have been financially devastating. I am trying to set it right over the next few days. I am to solely blame for any wrongdoing that may be discovered at the firm. … I have done so many things and kept them secret from each of you and my wife. … I can without reservation say that none of you had any idea what I was doing secretly. I assure you that it was not for personal gain. I have left my wife and children without penniless [sic]. I have ruined their lives and yours. I made people millions of dollars the past several years (they know who they are) but none for us. I am truly sorry.’ [Ellipses and brackets in petition.]
     “After receiving such e-mail, Mr. Samiljan had his office manager contact the bank on April 3, 2013. 12. Per Mr. Samiljan, it was then discovered that amounts totaling 3 to 4 million dollars had been misappropriated from both the firm’s trust account and the title company’s escrow account.
     “Mr. Samiljan advised he then contacted the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office to report such misappropriation.
     “Since sending the e-mail to Mr. Samiljan on April 2, 2013, respondent’s whereabouts and the whereabouts of any and all funds misappropriated by respondent are unknown.”
     Two of McCabe’s clients sued McCabe, Samiljan and their law office separately, in Palm Beach County.
     George and Lori Miquel claim McCabe cost them $112,000, and their house.
     Also sued are McCabe’s wife, Donna McCabe, and City Title.
     The Miquels claims they deposited more than $72,000 in trust accounts with their attorneys. They claim the McCabes used their money to pay off their own mortgage, then took another $40,000 down payment from them, for their own house, and that money disappeared too.
     “Timothy McCabe and Donna McCabe used misappropriated or stolen trust funds, which were the property of George Miquel and Lori Miquel, to pay off the mortgage and obtain the release of mortgage from Wells Fargo Bank,” the complaint states.
     They add: “A portion of the money deposited in the trust account was for the purpose of purchasing real estate, to wit: a house for George Miguel and Lori Miguel and their children.
     “George McGill and Lori Magill put down a nonrefundable deposit in the amount of forty thousand dollars ($40,000) for the purchase of the house.
     “George Miguel and Lori Miguel directed and instructed that a portion of the trust funds be paid to the seller of the house toward completing the purchase; otherwise, they would lose their nonrefundable deposit. George Miquel and Lori Miquel’s trust funds were not paid to the seller, resulting in the loss of their $40,000 nonrefundable deposit.
     “George Miquel and Lori Miquel were sued for eviction from the house.”
     The Miquels then cite the email that prompted the Bar’s action.
     They seek compensatory damages of $112,000, treble damages and attorney’s fees.
     They are represented by Harry Williams of Boca Raton.

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