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From Antitrust Law Daily, January 30, 2014

Disbarment proper sanction for attorney who pleaded guilty to bid rigging

By Jeffrey May, J.D.

Maryland’s highest court has disbarred an attorney who pleaded guilty in 2010 to conspiring to rig bids at tax lien auctions (Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland v. Nusbaum, January 29, 2014, Bell, J.).

Harvey M. Nusbaum was indicted in 2009, along with co-defendant Jack W. Stollof, on a charge of conspiring to rig bids at auctions for tax liens conducted by a Maryland municipality and various counties in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act. Nusbaum was charged with submitting the rigged bids through limited liability companies that he co-owned with Stollof. The conspiracy took place between 2002 and 2007, according to court documents.

In May 2010, Nusbaum pleaded guilty. He was sentenced to 12 months and one day of imprisonment (of which he served more than 10 months) and two years of probation. In addition, he was ordered to pay a fine in the amount of $800,000. The judgment also provided for 100 hours of community service as a condition of probation.

The Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland petitioned for Nusbaum’s suspension from the practice of law. The petition was granted by a state circuit court, and now the state’s court of appeals has upheld that decision.

Nusbaum admitted to the commission of a “serious crime,” justifying disbarment. The crime involved dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation, in violation of the Maryland Lawyers’ Rules of Professional Conduct. Moreover, he presented no evidence of any mitigating factors or extenuating circumstances, and he and his counsel “stood mute” at oral argument, offering no recommendation as to the appropriate sanction. Therefore, the petitioner’s recommendation was adopted and Nusbaum was disbarred.

Attorneys: Raymond Hein for Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland. Mathew Esworthy (Shapiro, Sher, Guinot & Sandler) for Harvey Malcolm Nusbaum.

MainStory: TopStory Antitrust AntitrustDivisionNews MarylandNews

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