In the Matter of Allison J. Boyd, admitted as Allison B. Crain, an attorney and counselor-at-law. Grievance Committee for the Tenth Judicial District, petitioner; Allison J. Boyd, respondent. (Attorney Registration No. 2321958)
Catherine A. Sheridan, Hauppauge, NY (Michael J. Kearse of
counsel), for petitioner.
H. Bowers, Babylon, NY, for respondent.
RANDALL T. ENG, P.J. WILLIAM F. MASTRO REINALDO E. RIVERA
MARK C. DILLON L. PRISCILLA HALL, JJ.
OPINION & ORDER
respondent was admitted to the Bar at a term of the Appellate
Division of the Supreme Court in the Second Judicial
Department on February 7, 1990, under the name Allison B.
Crain. By decision and order on motion dated February 10,
2017, as amended February 24, 2017, on the Court's own
motion, upon the affirmation of the Grievance Committee for
the Tenth Judicial District dated May 19, 2016, advising the
Court that the respondent was convicted of a serious crime,
and the affirmation of the respondent dated June 17, 2016, in
response thereto, the respondent was directed to show cause
at a hearing, pursuant to 22 NYCRR 1240.12(c)(2)(iv), before
the Honorable Michael F. Mullen, as Special Referee, why a
final order of suspension, censure, or disbarment should not
be made based on her conviction of a serious crime. By the
same decision and order on motion, this Court vacated the
automatic suspension resulting from the respondent's
conviction of a serious crime pursuant to Judiciary Law
December 22, 2015, the respondent pleaded guilty before the
Honorable Martin I. Efman, in the Supreme Court, Suffolk
County, to criminal facilitation in the fourth degree, in
violation of Penal Law § 115.00, a class A misdemeanor.
On March 16, 2016, she was sentenced to three years of
probation and directed to pay a surcharge of $175, a DNA fee
of $50, and a crime victims assessment fee of $25.
plea allocution, the respondent admitted that at a real
estate closing held at her law office on September 18, 2007,
she acted as the settlement agent for the lender and
represented the buyer, believing it probable that she was
rendering aid to the seller, Jacqueline Singotiko, who
intended to commit a crime, and that she engaged in conduct
which provided Singotiko the means or opportunity to commit a
felony, namely, grand larceny in the second degree, by
obtaining, through an act of mortgage fraud, a $264, 000
mortgage loan from the lender.
decision and order on motion dated February 10, 2017, as
amended February 24, 2017, on the Court's own motion,
upon the affirmation of the Grievance Committee for the Tenth
Judicial District dated May 19, 2016, advising the Court that
the respondent was convicted of a serious crime, and an
affirmation of the respondent dated June 17, 2016, in
response thereto, this matter was referred to the Honorable
Michael F. Mullen, as Special Referee, to hear and report.
Following a hearing on April 4, 2017, the Special Referee
issued a report. The Grievance Committee now moves to confirm
the Special Referee's report to the extent that the
report sets forth the facts and circumstances of the
underlying conviction and the mitigating evidence offered by
the respondent, and for the imposition of such discipline as
the Court deems just and appropriate. The respondent accepts
the findings in the Special Referee's report and raises
no objection to the report.
hearing evidence revealed that the respondent was unaware at
the time of the transaction that the buyer was a "straw
buyer." At the closing, when the respondent requested
that the buyer produce a check for the balance due, she was
told that the seller, Singotiko, did not expect payment, as
Singotiko and the buyer were business partners and involved
in other matters. The respondent did not insist on the
balance due, which the respondent acknowledged, in hindsight,
was a failure in judgment.
mitigation, the respondent asked that the Court consider the
following factors: she has an unblemished disciplinary
history; the incident was an isolated occurrence in a career
spanning 27 years; she was unaware of the fraudulent scheme;
she did not personally profit from the transaction; and she
is genuinely remorseful for her mistake.
Special Referee noted in his report that the incident
occurred 10 years ago, the respondent cooperated with law
enforcement authorities, the respondent has an
"outstanding" reputation for helping people in her
community and is remorseful, and the respondent did not
personally profit in any way.
on the evidence establishing the respondent's conviction,
her admissions, and the mitigating evidence presented, we
find that discipline should be imposed. Accordingly, the
Grievance Committee's motion is granted.
the totality of circumstances, we find that a public censure
is warranted (see Matter ...