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02/02/93 RICHARD JOHN UNTALAN RESPONDENT A MEMBER

February 2, 1993

IN RE: RICHARD JOHN UNTALAN, RESPONDENT; A MEMBER OF THE BAR OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA COURT OF APPEALS


Before Terry and Steadman, Associate Judges, and Kern, Senior Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Per Curiam

On Report and Recommendation of the Board on Professional Responsibility

PER CURIAM: On July 13, 1989, respondent upon entry of a plea of nolo contendere was convicted in the Superior Court of Guam for criminal facilitation of a felony of the second degree, theft by deception, which is a misdemeanor under 9 G.C.A. § 4.65. *fn1 On September 20, 1990, the Board on Professional Responsibility (the "Board") determined that the crime for which respondent was convicted did not involve moral turpitude per se within the meaning of D.C. Code § 11-2503 (a) (1989 Repl.). *fn2 The case was referred to a Hearing Committee for a determination of whether respondent's conduct involved moral turpitude.

The Hearing Committee determined that although respondent was convicted of a misdemeanor, the circumstances of his crime involved moral turpitude as proscribed by D.C. Code § 11-2503 (a) and therefore recommended disbarment. The Board's Report and Recommendation concludes that respondent shall be disbarred for committing an offense in which his conduct involved moral turpitude under D.C. Code § 11-2503 (a). *fn3 Respondent did not appear before either the Hearing Committee or the Board, but he did submit an answer and, through his counsel, delivered a letter objecting to some of the characterizations in the Hearing Committee Report.

The Board rejected respondent's objections and adopted the Hearing Committee's Report which found that respondent's conduct was fraudulent and that it involved moral turpitude. Our prior cases hold that crimes involving theft or fraud generally have been found to be crimes of moral turpitude. See In re Boyd, 593 A.2d 183 (D.C. 1991); In re Bond, 519 A.2d 165 (D.C. 1986). The Board did not review the elements of the offense in the instant case, but rather the circumstances of respondent's actions. "No conviction of a misdemeanor may be deemed a conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude per se, even though that misdemeanor may be properly characterized as a 'serious crime,' . . . and may be held to involve moral turpitude on the facts of the case." McBride, supra, 602 A.2d at 629. Cf. In re Youmans, No. 91-SP-664, slip op. at 2 (D.C. Jan. 15, 1993) (respondent's felony conviction in New Jersey for conspiracy to commit theft by deception was a per se offense involving moral turpitude under D.C. Code § 11-2503 (a)).

The Board concluded in its Report that respondent's offense contained the elements of a classic scam and was effected for respondent's personal gain. See In re Shorter, 570 A.2d 760, 765 (D.C. 1990) (stating that "the concept [of moral turpitude] has commonly been found to involve intentional dishonesty for personal gain"). We approve and adopt the report and recommendation of the Board.

Accordingly, it is ORDERED that respondent is disbarred from the practice of law in the District of Columbia, pursuant to D.C. Code § 11-2503 (a).

So ordered.

ATTACHMENT

APPENDIX

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA COURT OF APPEALS BOARD ON PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY

In the Matter of RICHARD J. UNTALAN, Respondent.

Bar Docket No. 53-90

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE BOARD ON PROFESSIONAL ...


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