Florida Attorney Who Went Missing With Million$ In Client Trust Funds Was Facing State Bar Action For Conduct Surrounding Quiet Title Suit Scheme Used In Effort To Dodge Foreclosure
In West Palm Beach, Florida, the Palm Beach Post reports:
- Missing Lake Worth attorney Timothy McCabe was facing disciplinary action from the Florida Supreme Court prior to his disappearance for trying to end-run a foreclosure lawsuit against one of his properties.
McCabe, who is alleged to have taken millions of dollars from his firm’s bank accounts before going missing April 2, filed a lawsuit in 2011 attempting to remove other claims to the property through a quiet title action.
McCabe’s law partner, Steven Samiljan, is also named in a formal complaint sent by the Florida Bar to the supreme court on March 27. The Bar confirmed Wednesday that Samiljan is also under investigation for the quiet title action and accounting issues revealed by McCabe’s disappearance. Samiljan could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
According to the Bar complaint, a foreclosure was filed against McCabe’s property in the 1200 block of 17th Avenue North in Lake Worth in December 2010. McCabe and his wife, Donna, bought the multi-family complex in March 2006 for $415,000.
In September 2011, McCabe filed a separate quiet title lawsuit against his original lender in an attempt to cancel the bank’s claims on the property. The request was denied by Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Jack Cox, who said McCabe and Samiljan “intentionally put in motion a plan or scheme” to get the court to issue an order that would end the foreclosure action.
“Samiljan and McCabe both knew and had facts and information that they intentionally attempted to withhold from this court and each made material misrepresentations to this court,” Cox said.
McCabe, 55, sent his wife and colleagues emails on April 2 saying he had made financial mistakes.
“You never knew what I was doing, but after the bank took our properties, I made a series of very bad business decisions,” McCabe wrote to his wife.
As much as $4 million is missing from his firm’s accounts. Clients are now trying to figure out if they can regain any of their deposits.
The Florida Bar has a Clients’ Security Fund that will pay out up to $250,000 for misappropriated or embezzled money. For more information on the fund, go to the consumer information section on Floridabar.org or call (850) 561-5834.(1)
(1) The Florida Bar's Clients' Security Fund was established to reimburse clients who have suffered a loss due to misappropriation or embezzlement by a Florida-licensed attorney.
For similar "attorney ripoff reimbursement funds" that sometimes help cover the financial mess created by the dishonest conduct of lawyers licensed in other states and Canada, see:
- Directory Of Lawyers' Funds For Client Protection (now includes Canadian recovery funds, courtesy of the American Bar Association);
- Check the USA Client Protection Funds Map;
- Check the Canada Client Protection Funds Map.