Dubious Conduct Involving Straw Buyer Scams, Loan Modification Rackets & Solicitations Targeting Victims Of Time Share Ripoffs Among Reasons For Recent Discipline Handed Out By Florida Supreme Court
The Florida Bar recently published its periodic 'gossip sheet' announcing the discipline meted out to some of its wayward members.
The following lawyers were disciplined for a variety of real estate-related missteps:
- Ronald Clyde Denis, 801 Spencer Drive, West Palm Beach, suspended for 60 days, effective 30 days from an April 16 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1997) Between 2009 and 2010, Denis was associated with a loan modification company that was run by non-lawyers. He accepted clients from the company, although it was not an approved lawyer referral service. The non-lawyer company had clients sign a special power of attorney stating that it was their attorney in fact. (Case No. SC12-2177)
Daniel Nathan Hoskins, 1154 Adair Park Place, Orlando, disbarred for five years, effective immediately, following an April 16 court order. Hoskins pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud — both felonies. In and between March 2006 and October 2008, Hoskins, along with another attorney, conspired with individuals involved in the development of three condominium conversion projects to artificially inflate their sales prices through the use of straw buyers and nominee purchasers. Hoskins failed to disclose to lenders the existence of the kickbacks or disguised payments made to straw buyers and Realtors. (Admitted to practice: 1996) (Case No. SC12-2171)
Harold George Uhrig, 370 Lake Seminary Circle, Maitland, suspended for 60 days, effective May 1, following an April 16 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1975) Uhrig created another law firm, outside of his criminal law practice, to assist his non-lawyer son’s company, which assisted timeshare owners who felt they’d been scammed by timeshare resale companies and wanted refunds. The new firm provided form letters to customers that were misleading and implied that the law firm was available to litigate against timeshare resale companies, if necessary. (Case No. SC12-2175)
Alexander Zouzoulas, 1270 Miller Ave., Winter Park, disbarred effective 30 days from an April 16 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1983) In August 2012, Zouzoulas pleaded guilty in court to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud. Between 2006 and 2008, Zouzoulas and another attorney conspired with persons involved in the development of three condominium conversion projects, to artificially inflate the sales prices of the condominium units. He also made several misrepresentations regarding the condominiums and failed to disclose to lenders the existence of kickbacks or disguised payments. (Case No. SC12-2167)