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In re Arvanitakis

Supreme Court of New York, Second Department

December 27, 2017

In the Matter of Katerina Arvanitakis, an attorney and counselor-at-law. Grievance Committee for the Second, Eleventh, and Thirteenth Judicial Districts, petitioner Katerina Arvanitakis, respondent. Attorney Registration No. 4471603

          Diana Maxfield Kearse, Brooklyn, NY, for petitioner.

          McDonough & McDonough, LLP, Garden City, NY (Chris McDonough of counsel), for respondent.

          RANDALL T. ENG, P.J., WILLIAM F. MASTRO, REINALDO E. RIVERA, MARK C. DILLON, FRANCESCA E. CONNOLLY, JJ.

          OPINION & ORDER

          PER CURIAM.

         MOTION by the Grievance Committee for the Second, Eleventh, and Thirteenth Judicial Districts to strike the respondent's name from the roll of attorneys and counselors-at-law, pursuant to Judiciary Law § 90(4), 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 April 18, 2007.

         On May 17, 2017, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Katherine Polk Failla, J.), the respondent, upon a plea of guilty, was convicted of one count of wire fraud, in violation of 18 USC § 1343, a federal felony, emanating from a scheme to defraud clients by soliciting funds based on false representations about how the solicited funds were purportedly going to be invested.

         The Grievance Committee for the Second, Eleventh, and Thirteenth Judicial Districts now moves to strike the respondent's name from the roll of attorneys and counselors-at-law, pursuant to Judiciary Law § 90(4), based upon her conviction of a felony. In response, the respondent's counsel has advised this Court that the respondent has no objection to the motion.

         Pursuant to Judiciary Law § 90(4)(a), "[a]ny person being an attorney and counselor-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 counselor-at-law." Judiciary Law § 90(4)(e) provides that:

"[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."

         A 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)

         This Court has previously held that the federal felony of wire fraud in violation of 18 USC § 1343 is 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 Cean, 125 A.D.3d 75; Matter of Doumazios, 88 A.D.3d 442; Matter of Thies, 42 A.D.3d 37; Matter of Fazio, 35 A.D.3d 33). By virtue of her federal felony conviction, the respondent was automatically disbarred and ceased to be an attorney pursuant to Judiciary Law § 90(4)(a).

         Accordingly, 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), is granted to reflect the respondent's disbarment as of May 17, 2017.

          ENG, P.J., MASTRO, RIVERA, DILLON and CONNOLLY, JJ., concur.

         ORDERED that the Grievance Committee's motion to strike the name of the respondent, Katerina Arvanitakis, from the roll of attorneys and counselors-at-law, pursuant to Judiciary Law § 90(4), is granted; and it is further, ORDERED that pursuant to Judiciary Law § 90(4)(a), the respondent, Katerina Arvanitakis, is disbarred, effective May 17, 2017, and her name is stricken from the roll of attorneys and counselors-at-law, pursuant to Judiciary Law § 90(4)(b); and it is further, ORDERED that the respondent, Katerina Arvanitakis, shall comply with the rules governing the conduct of disbarred or suspended attorneys (see 22 NYCRR 1240.15); and it is further, ORDERED that pursuant to Judiciary Law ยง 90, the respondent, Katerina Arvanitakis, is commanded to desist and refrain from (1) practicing law in any form, either as principal or as agent, clerk, or employee of another, (2) appearing as an attorney or counselor-at-law before any court, Judge, Justice, board, commission, or other public authority, (3) giving to another an opinion as to the law or its application or any advice in relation thereto, and (4) holding herself out in any way as an attorney and ...


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