Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau pursuant to Judiciary Law § 431.
This opinion is uncorrected and subject to revision before publication in the Official Reports.
A. GAIL PRUDENTI, P.J., WILLIAM F. MASTRO, REINALDO E. RIVERA, PETER B. SKELOS and JOSEPH COVELLO, JJ.
Motion by the Grievance Committee for the Ninth Judicial District to strike the respondent's name from the roll of attorneys and counselors-at-law, pursuant to Judiciary Law § 90(4), upon his conviction of several felonies. The respondent was admitted to the Bar at a term of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in the Second Judicial Department on March 6, 1974, under the name Leroy Winston Evans.
The respondent was the Director of Foreign Students and the Designated School Official for Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia. On November 26, 2003, he was convicted, upon a jury verdict, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, of: (1) conspiracy to obtain fraudulent student visas and induce aliens to unlawfully reside in the United States, in violation of 18 USC §§ 371 and 1546(a), and 8 USC § 1324(a)(1)(A)(iv) and (a)(1)(B)(i)(Count 1 of the Indictment); (2) obtaining fraudulent student visas, in violation of 18 USC § 1546(a) (Counts 2-24, 26-37, 39-43, 45-50, 52, and 54 of the Indictment); and (3) inducing aliens to unlawfully reside in the United States, in violation of 8 USC § 1324(a)(1)(A)(iv) and (a)(1)(B)(i) (Counts 58-80, 82-93, 95-99, 101-106, 108, and 110 of the Indictment). On August 31, 2004, he was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 34 months on each count, to run concurrently, followed by three years of supervised release. Further, he was directed to pay a special assessment fee in the sum of $9,700. By United States Department of Education Decision dated April 17, 2006, the respondent was barred from initiating, conducting, or otherwise participating in any activity in any federal agency.
As stated by the Court of Appeals in Matter of Margiotta (60 NY2d 147, 150):
"The Judiciary Law provides for automatic disbarrment when an attorney is convicted of a felony. Under this section, an offense committed in any other State, district or territory of the United States where it is classified as a felony is determined to be a felony when it'would constitute a felony in this state' (Judiciary Law § 90, subd 4, par e.). For purposes of this determination, the felony in the other jurisdiction need not be a mirror image of the New York felony, precisely corresponding in every detail, but it must have essential similarity."
A person is guilty of having obtained fraudulent visas and induced aliens to unlawfully reside in the United States, in violation of 18 USC §§ 371 and 1546(a), and 8 USC § 1324(a)(1)(A)(iv) and (a)(1)(B)(i), federal felonies, when the person assists and aids aliens to possess, obtain, accept, and receive F-1 student visas from the Immigration and Naturalization Service, knowing said F-1 visas to have been unlawfully obtained, procured by means of false claims and statements, and to have been otherwise procured by fraud.
A violation of 18 USC § 1546 is analogous in the State of New York to Penal Law § 175.35, offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree, a class E felony (see Matter of Ramirez, 7 AD3d 52; Matter of Salberg, 276 AD2d 19; Matter of Monte, 94 AD2d 275; Matter of Galang, 94 AD2d 280).
Pursuant to Judiciary Law § 90(4)(a), the respondent ceased to be an attorney and counselor-at-law upon his felony convictions.
By virtue of his federal felony convictions, the respondent was automatically disbarred and ceased to be an attorney pursuant to Judiciary Law § 90(4)(a).
Accordingly, the motion to now strike the respondent's name from the roll of attorneys, pursuant to Judiciary Law § 90(4)(b), is granted, without opposition, to reflect the ...