Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Fund for Client Protection Reimburses 13 Victims of Attorney Tied to State Treasurer Scandal

The Board of Commissioners of the Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection voted to reimburse 13 former clients of Franklin County attorney Mohammed Noure Alo a total of $36,420 for failure to provide services requested. Alo is serving a federal prison sentence for bribery connected to his role in a scheme with former deputy Ohio treasurer Amer Ahmad.

Alo is one of 13 former or suspended Ohio attorneys whose clients were reimbursed by the board when it met Dec. 4 in Columbus. A total $123,380 was paid to 33 victims of attorney theft as well as the clients of three deceased attorneys who were unable to provide services.

Alo pleaded guilty to bribery in November 2014 for his role in Ahmad’s multi-million dollar kickback scheme orchestrated while he was a deputy to former Ohio Treasurer Kevin Boyce. Alo collected $123,000 for his assistance to Ahmad and was sentenced to 48 months in federal prison. His license to practice law in Ohio was suspended indefinitely in August.

Alo was one of three Franklin County attorneys whose clients were reimbursed by the fund. Others include:

A former client of suspended attorney Javier H. Armengau was reimbursed $2,500 as a result of Armengau’s failure to provide the services requested. Armengau’s license to practice law was suspended in September 2014 following his felony conviction.

Former clients of suspended attorney David C. Watson Jr. were reimbursed $2,000 as a result of Watson’s failure to complete the services requested. Watson’s Ohio law license was suspended indefinitely in November.

Victims of lawyers in other counties include:

Cuyahoga County
A former client of suspended attorney Gregory K. Klima was reimbursed $43,611 as a result of Klima’s failure to distribute proceeds received on behalf of his client. Klima’s law license was indefinitely suspended in August.

A former client of former attorney Edward G. Kramer was reimbursed $2,600 as a result of Kramer’s failure to complete the services requested. Kramer resigned from the practice of law in Ohio, with discipline pending, in August.

Four former clients of former attorney James W. Westfall Jr. were reimbursed a total of $5,019 as a result of Westfall’s failure to provide the services requested. Westfall resigned from the practice of law in Ohio, with discipline pending, in August 2013.

A former client of deceased attorney Ruben E. Pope III was reimbursed $500 as a result of Pope’s failure to complete the services requested before his death.

Erie County
A former client of former attorney Roger S. Stark was reimbursed $2,979 as a result of Stark’s failure to account for client funds deposited with him. Stark resigned from the practice of law in Ohio, with discipline pending, in August.

Hamilton County
A former client of former attorney Harold K. Garrison was reimbursed $1,918 as a result of Garrison’s failure to provide the services requested. Garrison resigned from the practice of law in Ohio, with discipline pending, in March 2014.

Lawrence County
Former clients of former attorney Carol J. Hampton were reimbursed $1,342 as a result of Hampton’s failure to provide the services requested. Hampton resigned from the practice of law in Ohio, with discipline pending, in June 2015.

Lucas County
A former client of suspended attorney Deneen M. Marrelli was reimbursed $500 as a result of Marrelli’s failure to complete the services requested. Marrelli’s license to practice law in Ohio was suspended indefinitely in November.

Montgomery County
Two former clients of former attorney Lawrence J. White were reimbursed a total of $3,098 as a result of White’s failure to provide the services requested. White resigned from the practice of law in Ohio, with discipline pending, on in March 2013.

A former client of deceased attorney Kathy Lee Ellison was reimbursed $450 as a result of Ellison’s failure to complete the services requested before her death on January 4, 2014.

Two former clients of deceased attorney James R. Greene III were reimbursed a total of $7,344 as a result of Greene’s failure to provide the services requested before his death on May 28, 2014.

Preble County
A former client of suspended attorney James W. Thomas Jr. was reimbursed $2,700 paid to Thomas for services that he failed to provide. Thomas’ law license was suspended in July 2014 following his felony conviction.

Trumbull County
A former client of former attorney Richard J. LaCivita was reimbursed $10,400 as a result of LaCivita’s failure to account for client funds deposited with him. LaCivita resigned from the practice of law in Ohio, with discipline pending, in November 2012.

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

Clients who believe they have sustained financial losses resulting from attorney theft, embezzlement or misappropriation 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.

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