MEDIA UPDATE: SORT OF A NICE REPORT, BUT BOY NICK DID YOU BLOW IT. HOW MUCH CLEARER COULD I HAVE BEEN? NOBODY KNOWS ME, AND NOBODY ESPECIALLY APPLIES TO JUDGE BLAKE AND WHOEVER TOLD YOU IT WAS MR. O'DONNELL. IF YOU WOULD HAVE ASKED ME ABOUT PHIL REIZENSTEIN I WOULD HAVE TOLD YOU THE TRUTH. THEN WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE DONE WITH YOUR REPORT?
THAT BEING SAID: THE REAL REPORT EVERYONE HAS BEEN CLAMORING FOR:
THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:
THE FLORIDA BAR V. GABRIEL I. MARTIN
On October 6, 2006, The Florida Bar filed a Petition For Emergency Suspension against Gabriel I. Martin. In their petition they seek "emergency suspension" of Mr. Martin from the practice of law, because he "appears to be causing great public harm."
He is accused of causing great public harm by "assisting a suspended Florida attorney in facilitating a real estate fraud." This began as an FBI investigation into George Louis Garcia and fraudulent real estate transactions. Martin was Garcia's employer. Martin was subpoenaed on May 15, 2006, given two extensions, and finally complied with the subpoena on July 10, 2006.
Pursuant to the subpoena, Martin produced bank statements and canceled checks from his trust account for the period May 1, 2005 - December 1, 2005, along with incomplete receipt and disbursement journals. He supplied no client ledger cards or any of the files requested in the subpoena. At a later date, Martin turned over additional bank statements and canceled checks for Jan. 1 - June 30, 2006.
Martin told the investigators that he employed Garcia "to carry out real estate transactions." He explained that he permitted Garcia to conduct real estate closings, deal directly with buyers, sellers, brokers, real estate agents, lenders, bankers, appraisers; he let Garcia execute HUD-1 statements, make deposits, prepare all checks, and more. Martin signed the title insurance documents and the checks. Martin failed to supervise Garcia's actions in his office.
According to the records produced, Garcia had signed every single HUD-1 settlement statement as the Authorized Representative, he held himself out to be a practicing lawyer, and communicated with the lenders by giving them instructions of how, when and where the funds to buyers were to be deposited.
With Martin's "acquiescence, Garcia not only represented himself as an attorney in good standing but also directed a vast conspiracy to defraud lenders and other by conducting fraudulent real estate closings." Garcia, using straw buyers, brokers and others participated in at least 92 fraudulent closings.
From April 12, 2005 - August 3, 2006, Martin signed 104 checks totaling $1,547,780.91, payable to Garcia from Martin's operating account. He also signed 12 checks totaling $469,118.14, payable to Garcia from the Trust Account.
The Florida Bar accuses Martin of "apathy" in that he permitted Garcia to conduct operations in his name and for his failure to comply with the subpoena duces tecum served on May 15, 2006. Despite being served on May 15, 2006, Martin failed to investigate Garcia's operations. Further, he continued to allow Garcia operations to continue, "allowing Garcia to perpetrate fraud in a host of other real estate closings." At least 13 other closings took place between 5/24 and 7/14 and approximately $8,865,432.64 from lenders was received in the Trust Account.
Martin showed up at the Florida Bar offices on July 10, 2006, and denied knowledge of what was going on in his office. At the same time, a wire transfer of $4,468,601.25 was received into his Trust Account and business continued unabated. As a title agent, Martin is required "to follow the lender's closing instructions." He must ensure that the final HUD-1 Statement accurately describes the receipts and disbursements of the closings. Martin never ensured that this obligation was met......
Sounds like Gabe Martin and his attorney Richard Baron will have lots to talk about after Mr. Martin finishes up the chop shop trial before Judge Greene "north of the border".
Rumpole notes: uhho. And you can quote us.