In the Matter of Wally Duval, an attorney and counselor-at-law. Grievance Committee for the Tenth Judicial District, petitioner; Wally Duval, respondent. (Attorney Registration No. 2158111)
by the Grievance Committee for the Tenth Judicial District to
strike the respondent's name from the roll of attorneys
and counselors-at-law, pursuant to Judiciary Law §
90(4)(b), based upon her conviction of a felony. The
respondent was admitted to the Bar at a term of the Supreme
Court in the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department,
on June 1, 1988.
Mitchell T. Borkowsky, Hauppauge, NY (Ian P. Barry of
counsel), for petitioner.
RANDALL T. ENG, P.J. REINALDO E. RIVERA MARK C. DILLON RUTH
C. BALKIN JOHN M. LEVENTHAL, JJ.
OPINION & ORDER
September 26, 2014, the respondent pleaded guilty in the
United States District Court, Southern District of New York,
to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, in violation of 18 USC
§ 1349. The respondent was sentenced on January 7, 2015,
to 20 months' imprisonment, followed by five years of
supervised release. In addition, she was ordered to pay an
assessment in the amount of $100, and restitution in the sum
of $718, 800.56, to be paid in monthly installments upon her
release from prison.
is no record of the respondent advising this Court of her
conviction, as required by Judiciary Law § 90(4)(c).
Grievance Committee for the Tenth Judicial District now moves
to strike the respondent's name from the roll of
attorneys and counselors-at-law pursuant to Judiciary Law
§ 90(4)(b) based upon her conviction of a felony. The
respondent has taken no position with respect to the motion
of the Grievance Committee.
to Judiciary Law § 90(4)(a), "[a]ny person being an
attorney and counsellor-at-law who shall be convicted of a
felony as defined in paragraph e of this subdivision, shall
upon such conviction, cease to be an attorney and
counsellor-at-law." Judiciary Law § 90(4)(e)
"[f]or purposes of this subdivision, the term felony
shall mean any criminal offense classified as a felony under
the laws of this state or any criminal offense committed in
any other state, district, or territory of the United States
and classified as a felony therein which if committed within
this state, would constitute a felony in this state."
felony committed in another jurisdiction need not be a mirror
image of a New York felony, but it must have "essential
similarity" (Matter of Margiotta, 60 N.Y.2d
147, 150). In determining whether a federal felony is
essentially similar to a New York felony, this Court may
consider the attorney's plea allocution (see Matter
of Woghin, 64 A.D.3d 5).
Grievance Committee asserts that the respondent's
conviction of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, in violation
of 18 USC § 1349, is essentially similar to the New York
felony of scheme to defraud in the first degree (Penal Law
§ 190.65; see Matter of Kim, 209 A.D.2d 127).
Pursuant to Penal Law § 190.65, a person is guilty of
scheme to defraud in the first degree, a class E felony, by
engaging in a scheme with intent to defraud one or more
persons by false pretenses, thereby obtaining property in
excess of $1, 000. During the respondent's plea
alloucution, she admitted that she agreed with others to
commit bank fraud by facilitating the submission of loan
applications to banks, which applications she knew were
fraudulent. She further agreed to forfeit the sum of $1, 104,
000, the proceeds of the offense.
the circumstances of this case, we conclude that the
respondent's conviction of conspiracy to commit bank
fraud, in violation of 18 USC § 1349, constitutes a
felony within the meaning of Judiciary Law § 90(4)(e).
As such, upon her conviction of that crime, the respondent
was automatically disbarred and ceased to be an attorney
pursuant to Judiciary Law § 90(4)(a).
the unopposed motion to strike the respondent's name from
the roll of attorneys and counselors-at-law, pursuant to
Judiciary Law § 90(4)(b), is granted to reflect ...