June 11, 1991
IN RE: CHARLES ROSENBLEET, RESPONDENT, A MEMBER OF THE BAR OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA COURT OF APPEALS
Terry and Farrell, Associate Judges, and Gallagher, Senior Judge, in chambers.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Terry
In the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, respondent Rosenbleet, an attorney, pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1344 (1988), *fn1 and two counts of second-degree fraud, in violation of D.C. Code § 22-3821(b) (1989). *fn2 He also pleaded guilty in a state court in Montgomery County, Maryland, to one count of theft and one count of fraudulent misappropriation by a fiduciary. As a result of these convictions, Rosenbleet was disbarred in the District of Columbia. The Office of Bar Counsel then asked this court to determine whether these convictions were for offenses involving moral turpitude under D.C. Code § 11-2503(a) (1989). We issued an order directing Rosenbleet to show cause why we should not so hold, but Rosenbleet requested us to postpone our determination of the moral turpitude issue until such time as he might seek reinstatement. We denied that request and directed him to respond to the show cause order. Rosenbleet filed no further response.
Some crimes "manifestly involve moral turpitude by virtue of their underlying elements, and do not." In re Colson, 412 A.2d 1160, 1164 (D.C. 1979) (en banc). When an attorney is convicted of a crime in the former category, neither the court nor the Board on Professional Responsibility is obliged -- or even permitted -- to consider the specific conduct on which the conviction was based in determining whether that attorney should be disbarred under D.C. Code § 11-2503(a). *fn3 In re Roberson, 429 A.2d 530, 531 (D.C. 1981) (en banc); see In re Colson, supra, 412 A.2d at 1168. The question before us in this case is whether the crimes of which Rosenbleet was convicted are among those which inherently involve moral turpitude. We are satisfied that at least two of them are.
This court has repeatedly held that any crime of which intent to defraud is an essential element inherently involves moral turpitude. In re Bond, 519 A.2d 165, 166 (D.C. 1986) (citing cases). We expressly held in Bond that a specific intent to defraud "is required for convictions under the federal mail and wire fraud statutes, and the fraud must be active rather than constructive." Id. (citations omitted). Today we extend that holding to the federal bank fraud statute, 18 U.S.C. § 1344, a relatively recent enactment *fn4 which defines the elements of bank fraud in language materially identical to that of the mail fraud and wire fraud statutes, 18 U.S.C. §§ 1341 and 1343. See generally United States v. Goldblatt, 813 F.2d 619, 623-624 (3d Cir. 1987). We also hold that second-degree fraud under the District of Columbia Code includes, as an essential element, an intent to defraud. Given the statutory language, (supra) note 2, we could not reasonably hold otherwise. Thus we conclude that Rosenbleet has been convicted of at least two offenses inherently involving moral turpitude, *fn5 and that he must be deemed to have been disbarred pursuant to D.C. Code § 11-2503 (a).
It is so ordered.