June 18, 2013
In the Matter of Soma Sengupta, an attorney and counselor-at-law: Departmental Disciplinary Committee for the First Judicial Department, Petitioner, Soma Sengupta, Respondent.
Disciplinary proceedings instituted by the Departmental Disciplinary Committee for the First Judicial Department. Respondent, Soma Sengupta, was admitted to the Bar of the State of New York at a Term of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court for the First Judicial Department on October 16, 2000.
Jorge Dopico, Chief Counsel, Departmental Disciplinary Committee, New York (Kathy Wu, of counsel), for petitioner.
Respondent pro se.
Luis A. Gonzalez, Presiding Justice, Angela M. Mazzarelli David Friedman David B. Saxe Dianne T. Renwick, Justices.
Respondent was admitted to the practice of law in the State of New York by this Court on October 16, 2000. Her business address on file with the Office of Court Administration is in North Brunswick, New Jersey.
On February 15, 2013, in Supreme Court, New York County, respondent was convicted, after a nonjury trial, of three counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree (Penal Law § 170.25), a class D felony; two counts of offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree (Penal Law § 175.35), a class E felony; and conspiracy in the fifth degree (Penal Law § 105.05), a class A misdemeanor. In essence, the court found that respondent, acting in concert with a codefendant, forged various documents pertaining to her educational and professional qualifications, and submitted some of these false documents to the New York State Office of Court Administration. On March 27, 2013, respondent was sentenced to five years probation and fined $5, 000.
The Departmental Disciplinary Committee now seeks an order striking respondent's name from the roll of attorneys, pursuant to Judiciary Law § 90(4)(b), on the ground that she has been disbarred by operation of law upon her convictions of felonies as defined in Judiciary Law § 90(4)(e) (see Matter of Morrissey, 72 A.D.3d 255 [1st Dept 2010]; Matter of Rodwin, 271 A.D.2d 167 [1st Dept 2000]).
A conviction of "any criminal offense classified as a felony under the laws of this state" (Judiciary Law § 90[e]) results in automatic disbarment by operation of law (see Judiciary Law § 90(4)(b); Matter of Margulies, 93 A.D.3d 145 [1st Dept 2012]; Matter of Brown, 51 A.D.3d 76 [1st Dept 2008]). This Court has previously recognized the disbarment of attorneys who have been similarly convicted of the New York felonies of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree and offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree (see Matter of Armenakis, 86 A.D.3d 205 [1st Dept 2011]; Matter of Bernstein, 78 A.D.3d 94 [1st Dept 2010]; Matter of Adler, 292 A.D.2d 81 [1st Dept 2002]).
Accordingly, the Committee's petition is granted, respondent is disbarred, and her name is stricken from the roll of attorneys and counselors-at-law in the State of New York, nunc pro tunc to February 15, 2013.
Gonzalez, P.J., Mazzarelli, Friedman, Saxe, and Renwick, JJ.