Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Clients’ Security Fund Awards Maximum $75,000 to One Victim of Attorney Theft, $110,000 Total

One Ross County victim of attorney theft will receive the maximum award – $75,000 – after the Board of Commissioners of the Clients’ Security Fund of Ohio voted to reimburse the former client at its quarterly meeting on Friday.

In total, 22 victims of attorney theft were awarded $110,960. The reimbursements involve eight former or suspended Ohio attorneys who were found to have misappropriated client funds. One deceased attorney was also involved in the claims presented to the board.

Created in 1985 by the Ohio Supreme Court to reimburse victims of attorney theft, embezzlement, or misappropriation, the fund is supported entirely by attorney registration fees. Ohio has nearly 44,000 attorneys engaged in the active practice of law. Less than one-tenth of 1 percent of those attorneys is involved in CSF claims.

Clients who believe they have sustained financial losses resulting from attorney misconduct should contact the fund at 614.387.9390 or toll-free in Ohio at 1.800.231.1680.

To access more information about the disciplinary cases against some of these attorneys, visit the Supreme Court’s online docket.

The Ross County reimbursement involved former attorney Rebecca E. Bobb and her conversion of funds belonging to her client. Bobb resigned from the practice of law in Ohio, with discipline pending, on September 24, 2010.

Here are the other awards determined by the board.

  • Fourteen former clients of former Cuyahoga County attorney James W. Westfall Jr. were reimbursed a total of $15,848 as a result of Westfall’s failure to provide the services requested. Westfall resigned from the practice of law in Ohio, with discipline pending, on August 30.
  • A former client of former Trumbull County attorney Joseph D. Ohlin was reimbursed $5,867 as a result of Ohlin’s conversion of client funds. Ohlin resigned from the practice law in Ohio, with discipline pending, on March 14.
  • A former client of suspended Franklin County attorney Lilian A. Asante was reimbursed $5,000 as a result of Asante’s failure to provide the services requested. Asante’s license to practice law in Ohio was suspended indefinitely on September 4, 2012.
  • A former client of former Delaware County attorney John G. Neal was reimbursed $3,275 as a result of Neal’s failure to provide the services requested. Neal resigned from the practice of law in Ohio, with discipline pending, on November 2, 2012.
  • A former client of deceased Greene County attorney Paul W. Barrett was reimbursed $2,368 as a result of Barrett’s failure to refund unearned fees before his death on April 21, 2012.
  • A former client (a husband and wife) of suspended attorney April M. Bogdanski was reimbursed $2,125 as a result of Bogdanski’s failure to provide the services requested. Bogdanski’s license to practice law in Ohio was suspended indefinitely on November 15.
  • A former client of suspended Cuyahoga County attorney Gary R. Axner was reimbursed $950 as a result of Axner’s failure to provide the services requested. Axner’s license to practice law in Ohio was suspended indefinitely on February 14, 2013.
  • A former client of former Mahoning County attorney Raymond A. Sinclair was reimbursed $527 as a result of Sinclair’s failure to provide the services requested. Sinclair resigned from the practice of law in Ohio, with discipline pending, on May 18, 2012.
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