January 16, 2003
IN RE MICHAEL ABBELL, RESPONDENT.
A Member of the Bar of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals On Report and Recommendation of the Board on Professional Responsibility (BDN397-98)
Before Wagner, Chief Judge, and Schwelb and Reid, Associate Judges
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Per Curiam.
Submitted January 7, 2003
Michael Abbell, a member of our Bar, was found guilty by a jury in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida of conspiracy to launder money and of RICO conspiracy. See 18 U.S.C. §§ 1956, 1961 et seq. (2000). The district court upheld the money laundering conspiracy conviction, but granted Abbell's motion for judgment of acquittal as to the RICO conspiracy. Both Abbell and the government appealed, and in United States v. Abbell, 271 F.3d 1286 (11th Cir. 2001), the court affirmed the laundering conspiracy conviction and reinstated the RICO conspiracy conviction. On October 7, 2002, the Supreme Court denied Abbell's petition for certiorari. Abbell v. United States, 123 S. Ct. 74 (2002).
On July 16, 2002, the Board on Professional Responsibility, noting that "Bar Counsel and Respondent appear to agree that Respondent's RICO [conspiracy] conviction involves moral turpitude per se," recommended that Abbell be disbarred pursuant to D.C. Code § 11-2503 (a) for conviction of a crime of moral turpitude. The Board continued:
Respondent opposes Bar Counsel's motion, urging that the Board and Court defer action on the RICO conviction until the Eleventh Circuit rules on Respondent's pending motion for rehearing en banc. Respondent concedes that, if his appeal efforts ultimately fail, his "disbarrment will likely be inevitable and uncontested." *fn1
As previously noted, the Supreme Court has now denied Abbell's petition for certiorari.
Neither Bar Counsel nor Abbell has excepted to the Board's recommendation, *fn2 which, in any event, § 11-2503 (a) requires us to follow in this case. Accordingly, Michael Abbell is hereby disbarred from the practice of law in the District of Columbia; for purposes of reinstatement, his disbarrment shall run from the date he files a satisfactory affidavit pursuant to D.C. App. R. XI, § 14 (g). *fn3