In the Matter of Carlos Moreno, an attorney and counselor-at-law: Attorney Grievance Committee for the First Judicial Department, Petitioner, Carlos Moreno, Respondent.
proceedings instituted by the Attorney Grievance Committee
for the First Judicial Department. Respondent, Carlos Moreno,
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 April 13, 1992.
Dopico, Chief Attorney, Attorney Grievance Committee, New
York (Remi E. Shea, of counsel), for petitioner.
Respondent pro se.
W. Sweeny, Jr., Justice Presiding, Dianne T. Renwick Richard
T. Andrias Marcy L. Kahn Ellen Gesmer, Justices.
Carlos Moreno was admitted to the practice of law in the
State of New York by the First Judicial Department on April
13, 1992. At all times relevant to this proceeding, he has
maintained an office for the practice of law in the First
Departmental Disciplinary Committee (now the Attorney
Grievance Committee) moves for an order under former 22 NYCRR
603.4(e)(1) immediately suspending respondent from the
practice of law, until further order of the Court, based on
respondent's conduct of, among other things, failing to
comply with a lawful demand of the Court and the Committee.
Specifically, respondent has failed to comply, for over three
years, with the Committee's demands to inspect his tax
returns, including demands made by judicial subpoena.
Committee began its investigation into respondent's
conduct when it was informed in 2011 by the Lawyers' Fund
for Client Protection that a check in the amount of $4,
699.46 and an electronic payment in the amount of $240.75,
both drawn against respondent's IOLA account, were
dishonored due to insufficient funds. By letters dated
January 12, 2011 and August 11, 2011, respondent informed the
Committee that both of these disbursements were the result of
his inadvertently using his IOLA account instead of his
business account. Respondent provided the Committee with his
IOLA account statements and canceled checks for November 2010
through March 2011. He also completed an Excel spreadsheet
prepared by the Committee's investigative accountant,
which summarized his account transactions during this period.
account records raised further suspicions by the Committee
that he had been using his IOLA account improperly. In a
letter dated February 15, 2013, the Committee directed
respondent to appear for a deposition during the second week
of March 2013 and to bring copies of his tax returns. In a
letter dated February 27, 2013, respondent stated that he
could attend a deposition on March 8, 2013 and would bring
all "the relevant documents." Respondent's
deposition was rescheduled to March 27, 2013. At the
deposition, respondent, who appeared pro se, failed to
provide his tax returns.
letter dated April 15, 2014, the Committee reminded
respondent that he still had not provided items previously
requested . Respondent did not provide his tax
returns in response to the Committee's letter. At a
deposition held on September 8, 2014, respondent again
appeared without his tax returns. The Committee reminded
respondent that he needed to provide them. Respondent
explained that he would be meeting with his accountant soon
and would need one more week. Nonetheless, the tax returns
were not provided.
February 25, 2015, the Committee obtained a judicial subpoena
signed by this Court, directing respondent to appear
personally on March 11, 2015 and to bring copies of his
individual and business, state and federal tax returns for
2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. In a telephone conversation on
March 4, 2015, respondent agreed to accept service of the
subpoena by mail, which the Committee memorialized in a
letter dated that same day. On March 11, 2015, respondent
appeared before the Committee for a deposition pursuant to
the subpoena. Respondent did not bring copies of his tax
returns. He requested an adjournment of the deposition in
order to retain counsel.
5, 2015, the Committee sent respondent an email indicating
that it had not received any communication from any attorney
claiming to represent him. Moreover, the Committee still had
not received the copies of respondent's tax returns
demanded by judicial subpoena. Respondent was directed to
inform the Committee by May 8, 2015 as to whether he would be
retaining counsel. The Committee also reminded respondent
that he was to provide copies of his tax returns and if he
would not do so, to explain why.
10, 2016, the Committee spoke by telephone with respondent
and reminded him that he still had not complied with the
Committee's requests for his tax returns. This
conversation was memorialized in an email sent later that day
to respondent. In the email, the Committee directed that
respondent would have until May 18, 2016 to provide the
copies of his tax returns for 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. The
Committee's email explicitly warned respondent that
failure to provide all four of the returns " [w]ill
be considered a failure to cooperate with the Committee's
investigation and may result in your suspension. "
The email also referred respondent to the relevant
disciplinary rule and case law dealing with attorney
suspensions based on failure to cooperate with an
investigation by the Committee. 
appeared again for a deposition, pursuant to a second
judicial subpoena, on June 22, 2016. Respondent did not
provide his tax returns. At the deposition, he stated that he
was still in the process of ...