Once again, an attorney in Maryland has been suspended, disbarred, or reprimanded as a result of a complaint filed by Stewart A. Sutton with the Maryland Attorney Grievance Commission. On June 22, 2020, Ali Herischi consented to being reprimanded for violation the Maryland Attorneys’ Rules of Professional Conduct, Rules 1.4 (communications), 1.7 (conflict of interest), and 8.4(d) (engaging in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice). See https://www.courts.state.md.us/data/opinions/coa/2020/104a19ag.pdf
Stewart A. Sutton and his co-counsel had filed a complaint on behalf of a client against Mr. Hersichi on the grounds that he had drafted marketing materials in Farsi for the EB-5 hotel project in south Florida and had received kickbacks for each of his Iranians clients that he had steered towards making a $500,000 investment in the EB-5 hotel project.
The Chinese and Iranian immigrants that invested in this EB-5 hotel project lost about $50 million in the fraudulent EB-5 hotel scheme. In April 2019, the developer of the hotel project pled guilty in federal court to felony fraud, money-laundering, conspiracy, and tax evasion for defrauding the foreign EB-5 investors.Joint Petition for Reprimand
What clients need to know: A client is entitled to receive the undivided loyalty from his or her attorney. When an attorney represents two clients that have potential adverse interests, the attorney must obtain the clients’ informed, written consent to represent both clients. When an attorney’s loyalty is influenced from the receipt of secret payments from a third-party, the attorney has violated Rule 19-301.8(f) of the Maryland Attorneys’ Rules of Professional Conduct.