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Monday, March 29, 2010

Old Lawyer Trick: If Caught Stealing, Run to Rehab

Missing Lawyer Turns Up In Florida Rehab
Insurance policy has covered client fund losses so far
The Connecticut Law Tribune by Douglas S. Malan - March 29, 2010

An Avon attorney who is suspected of absconding with clients’ funds turned up at a Florida rehabilitation center last week and apparently checked himself in. Deron S. Drumm, 38, had operated a two-lawyer real estate and bankruptcy practice up until a few weeks ago. Connecticut grievance officials have been trying to locate him after funds were discovered missing from his client trust account. Last week, they got a call from the HealthCare Connection of Tampa telling them that Drumm had appeared at their clinic. The clinic, which opened in 1995, specializes “in the treatment of impaired professionals,” according to its web site. In legal circles, the clinic is known for its addiction-recovery program designed specifically for attorneys, and is run by attorney Timothy J. Sweeney. He did not return repeated calls for comment. “Within Florida, HealthCare Connection is the preferred provider” of health care services for lawyers, said Michael J. Cohen, executive director of the Florida Lawyers Assistance Program. “They have one of the pre-eminent programs in the country.” A web site for the HealthCare Connection Foundation says it costs about $35,000 to pay for one patient’s “intensive day/night treatment with community housing, including food, medications, and clothing, if necessary.” The treatment lasts for three months. Drumm disappeared from Connecticut earlier this month after a real estate closing on March 10. Grievance officials were alerted when a $119,000 check to a lending institution bounced due to insufficient funds in Drumm’s client trust account. The check was to pay off an existing mortgage on the property that was transferred on March 10. On March 12, Drumm sent an e-mail to his associate, Matthew Mancini, saying that he was “out of here.” Drumm has been a member of the state bar since 2004 and has no prior disciplinary history. Last June, he moved his office to Avon after practicing in Berlin. Chief disciplinary counsel Mark Dubois has been in touch with Drumm’s title insurance carrier and learned that it paid the mortgage holder $119,000 from Drumm’s policy. There’s also the possibility that an additional $150,000 claim will be made against the insurance policy, Dubois noted. Assistant disciplinary counsel Beth Baldwin has set up Mancini as the trustee for the firm’s clients. Baldwin said “there’s nothing we can do” in the Office of Disciplinary Counsel to compel Drumm to return to the state, and she wasn’t aware of any criminal complaint against Drumm. Baldwin moved for an interim suspension of Drumm’s law license earlier this month, and a hearing on Drumm’s disciplinary case is scheduled for March 29. Baldwin said as of last Thursday, no attorney had filed an appearance on Drumm’s behalf. “We’ll have a hearing, whether [Drumm] is here or not,” Baldwin said.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why does this only work for lawyers?

How's this for corrupt balls said...

Shelton Mayor Criticizes Federal Corruption Probe
Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti is lashing out at a federal corruption investigation that led to charges against a developer accused of bribing the mayor, saying it's damaged the city's reputation and dishonored citizens' integrity. Lauretti hasn't been charged with any crime and denies wrongdoing. His comments came in a statement released Saturday, only days after a federal jury in New Haven began deliberating in the case against developer James Botti. During testimony in court, Lauretti was portrayed as a corrupt politician who accepted thousands of dollars in bribes, free home repairs and a vacation in Florida. Lauretti accused the federal government of alleging corruption based only on innuendo. A spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office declined to comment.—Associated Press

Anonymous said...

What lawyers own this Healthcare Connection? Think about it lawyers have to own it, it's a perfect cover. These lawyers are real snakes just like former NYS Judge Sol Wachler. The oversight in CT seems to be on the ball - not like the pinheads in NY!

T Finnan said...

Why this compassion from the local DA? The DA should bring an indictment for larceny, rather than consider a get well soon card. The best rehabilitation would occur in a jail cell.

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               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
               The June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:
         
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