In the Matter of Verbelle Bernadette Williams, an attorney and counselor-at-law. Grievance Committee for the Tenth Judicial District, petitioner; Verbelle Bernadette Williams, respondent. (Attorney Registration No. 2507689)
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 Appellate
Division of the Supreme Court in the Second Judicial
Department on February 3, 1993.
Mitchell T. Borkowsky, Hauppauge, NY (Carolyn Mazzu Genovesi
of counsel), for petitioner.
Verbelle Bernadette Williams, Baldwin, NY, respondent pro se.
RANDALL T. ENG, P.J., REINALDO E. RIVERA, MARK C. DILLON,
RUTH C. BALKIN, COLLEEN D. DUFFY, JJ.
OPINION & ORDER
April 11, 2011, the respondent pleaded guilty in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York
to two counts of bank fraud, in violation of 18 USC §
1344, and one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, in
violation of 18 USC §§ 1344 and 1349, all federal
felonies. On November 4, 2015, the respondent was sentenced
by United States District Court Judge Shira A. Scheindlin to
a period of probation of two years, and was directed, inter
alia, to pay a $300 assessment.
letter dated November 23, 2015, which was received by this
Court on January 5, 2016, the respondent notified this Court
of her conviction.
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. In
response, the respondent has submitted an affirmation,
wherein she states that she has no objection to the Grievance
stated by the Court of Appeals in Matter of
Margiotta (60 N.Y.2d 147, 150):
"The Judiciary Law provides for automatic disbarment
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."
federal felony of bank fraud has been held to be essentially
similar to the New York felonies of grand larceny in the
second degree, in violation of Penal Law § 155.40, a
class C felony, and scheme to defraud in the first degree, in
violation of Penal Law § 190.65, a class E felony
(see Matter of Abakporo, 130 A.D.3d 24; Matter
of Berkowsky, 127 A.D.3d 175; Matter of Turner,
121 A.D.3d 313).
virtue of her federal felony conviction, the respondent was
automatically disbarred and ceased to be an attorney pursuant
to Judiciary Law § 90(4)(a).
the Grievance Committee's 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 ...