Criminal fraudsters and an ex-prosecutor among disciplined Miami to Palm Beach lawyers
Securities fraud, personal injury settlement money going where it shouldn’t and ignorance of rules put nine South Florida lawyers on the monthly list of attorneys disciplined by the Florida Bar.
Disciplinary revocation has been called “tantamount to disbarment” by the state Supreme Court. The discipline cases go away, but the action doesn’t affect any civil or criminal cases. In return, the attorney gets kicked out of the Florida Bar, usually with the ability to apply for readmission in five years.
In alphabetical order:
Kaysia Earley, Sunrise
Last year, Kaysia Earley, admitted to the Bar in 2014, challenged Judge Mardi Levey Cohen for the Broward County Court Group 26 seat that Cohen had held since 2010. Earley’s guilty plea admits she ran a low budget campaign and her one paid employee hadn’t run a campaign before. Also, defending a client in a capital case prevented Earley from attending the Judicial Campaign Forum, which would have helped her with knowledge of campaign do’s and don’ts.
Earley’s campaign made rookie mistakes, such as posts to personal and campaign social media accounts that referred to her as “Judge” and “Your Honorable” and posting a photo with Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony, who hadn’t agreed to endorse her. Two campaign reports had inaccurate information about “four small donations.”
“During an interview [Earley] stated that she was the most experienced attorney in Broward County,” her guilty plea said.
For these and some other campaign violations, Earley received a public reprimand and has been ordered to attend the Florida Bar’s Ethics School before Feb. 10.
In the election, Cohen edged Earley, 50.08% to 49.92%.
Kevin Hagen, Fort Lauderdale
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio alleges that between Jan. 1, 2014, and July 19, 2019, the defendants obtained millions of shares in certain public companies at little or no cost and then profited by selling those shares to investors at fraudulent and artificially inflated prices without disclosing their control of those shares or relationship with the companies.”
That’s from a Justice Department release about a case filed Nov. 9 against a seven defendants, one of which is Kevin Hagen, admitted to the Florida Bar in 1994. The indictment said Hagen was the CEO of PotNetwork Holdings and Florida state records says he’s the lone officer for Distribution Wholesale.
“In his role as CEO, Hagen was responsible for the truth and accuracy of regulatory filings submitted to the SEC on behalf of PotNetwork Holdings,” the indictment said. “In PotNetwork Holdings annual reports, Hagen falsely claimed he received no compensation and that he, through Distribution Wholesale, advanced PotNetwork Holdings approximately $1,626,588.64 in the form of payments to suppliers.”
The money actually was from other defendants to pay stock promoters, the indictment alleged.
Hagen pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and was sentenced last week to a year and a day in federal prison, a $15,000 fine and restitution to be determined.
Hagen didn’t wait to be disbarred. He pulled the disciplinary revocation lever. As of Sept. 9, Hagen will no longer be a member of the Florida Bar. He can apply for readmission on Sept. 9, 2028.
Joshua Hauserman, Boynton Beach
Boynton Beach’s Joshua Hauserman joined the Bar in 2007 and, a decade later, began a two-year probation during which his contract with Florida Lawyers Assistance (FLA) prohibited him from imbibing alcohol. Hauserman violated that ban and got probation extended and testing increased. He got busted again in 2018, which earned a 91-day suspension that he served July through October in 2019.
When that suspension ended, Hauserman was sat for another six months for professional misconduct in three other cases. In addition to the suspension, he agreed to monitoring by FLA that started in June 2020.
The Bar said Hauserman tested positive for alcohol Sept. 22, 2021, then went dark on FLA — missed scheduled tests in 2021 and 2022, stopped attending support group meetings and stopped meeting with his monitor. All of this, the Bar argued, counts as contempt of court via flouting part of the agreed upon discipline.
The state Supreme Court agreed. Hauserman is disbarred.
Adres Jackson-Whyte, North Miami Beach
Money that comes into a trust account for one person cannot be used to pay another. And legal documents are required to be kept for six years after a client’s case closes, even if you’ve been evicted from your apartment.
Adres Jackson-Whyte, a member of the Bar since 2009, should have known the above when she received a $100,000 settlement check after handling a personal injury matter for a member of her church. Instead, records say, she misappropriated at least $50,000.
Jackson-Whyte has been disbarred.
Lisa Jacobs, Aventura
Lisa Jacobs, who was admitted to the Bar in 1999, was a division chief in the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office in April 2016 when she got into a wreck after, an arrest report said, a three-drink dinner at Outback Steakhouse with her 10-year-old and 14-year-old kids in the car. Jacobs resigned from the state attorney’s office before that May dawned.
The DUI and a child endangerment charges were dropped and Jacobs pleaded no contest to careless driving. She was sentenced to a one-year probation, 50 hours of community service, DUI school, Interlock device put on the car and parent effectiveness training course. She also went into a rehabilitation contract with Florida Lawyers Assistance and resigned from the state attorney’s office.
Jacobs remained under that contract despite violating it several times with positive alcohol tests when she crashed her Volvo into a Volkswagen around 14800 Pines Blvd. on Dec. 14, 2018. She told a Pembroke Pines officer she thought she was on Interstate 95, which is about 11 miles east of her actual location. Jacobs pleaded no contest to DUI with property damage and refusal to submit to a blood or breath test, earning her a nine-month probation and driver’s license suspension.
The above was in Jacobs’ 2021 guilty plea for consent judgment that agreed to a 30-day suspension and a probation until her FLA rehabilitation contract ran out last month.
But, the Bar said, Jacobs violated the contract “by failing to abstain from the consumption of alcohol and has missed six tests in the last five months” without promptly making up the tests. That counts as contempt of court.
Jacobs’ 91-day suspension began Aug. 13.
Frank Noska, Palm Beach
Palm Beach’s Frank Noska, who was admitted to the Bar in 1982, seems to be alive, but the Bar says he’s ghosting them.
The Bar said it got no response to a Jan. 27 letter telling Noska a grievance had been filed against him. A Feb. 16 message left at the phone number Noska gave the Bar didn’t get returned. Letters sent by snail mail and email didn’t get answered. The Bar said even messages left at relatives homes have been ignored.
Noska has been suspended until further notice.
Emelike Nwosuocha, Miami
After a medical negligence lawsuit filed in Miami-Dade by Miami’s Emelike Nwosuocha for client Ana Diaz got dismissed with prejudice in 2019, the trial court awarded the defendant attorney’s fees. The Third District Court of Appeal affirmed the dismissal and awarding of fees.
“In assessing attorney’s fees, the trial court found that the complaint filed by [Nwosuocha] was not supported by application of then-existing law to the material facts plead,” said the report of the referee, Judge William Altfield.
The defendant filed a grievance with the Bar on Aug. 24, 2021, after he couldn’t collect the attorney’s fees of $5,310 from Nwosuocha. Despite time extensions, Nwosuocha didn’t file an answer to the grievance before Altfield entered a default judgment for the Bar on Feb. 10, almost 18 months after the grievance was filed.
That spurred a response from Nwosuocha, in which he “stated that he did not know why he was being charged the attorney’s fees and argued that he had not filed a frivolous lawsuit on behalf of Diaz,” Altfield wrote.
Altfield found Nwosuocha’s tardy response to be engaging in “bad faith obstruction” of the process, and also didn’t appreciate Nwosuocha not accepting the court rulings or showing sorrow for his actions.
The referee recommended a six-month suspension. That will begin for Nwosuocha, a Bar member since 2008, on Saturday.
Marc Reiner, West Palm Beach
Alicia Mattson, a client of West Palm Beach’s Marc Reiner, admitted in 2008, was under pretrial supervision via ankle electronics. One day, their meetings included “stops that weren’t specifically authorized,” although Reiner thought they were.
That and an accusation that she failed a drug test got Mattson jailed for violating her pretrial release terms. her violation of pretrial supervision. Reiner’s arguments beat back the failed drug test accusations, but his guilty plea for consent judgment admits he should have better explained the role his ignorance played in the unauthorized stops, which were outside the geographic limits placed on Mattson.
“During a hearing before the Honorable Sherwood Bauerand in response to questioning about the stops, [Reiner] did not provide sufficient or clear responses as to the stops or as to his belief that those stops were permissible,” his guilty plea says. “[Reiner] should have made a better effort to provide information from his laptop which was responsive to the Court’s concerns.”
Reiner received a public reprimand.
Kyle Young, Palm Beach
Palm Beach’s Kyle Young, admitted to the Bar in 2008, committed his COVID-19 relief fraud the lazy way, according to Thursday’s guilty plea to one count of wire fraud.
Young, 48, didn’t bother to create new companies or reactivate old companies, as his South Florida siblings in COVID-19 fraud have done. He just used companies that anyone making a cursory check of state records could see didn’t exist when the pandemic began bruising businesses.
Young applied for and received a $28,000 Economic Injury Disaster Loan for Kyle Charles Young, P.L, which state records say was administratively dissolved (translation: annual paperwork not filed) after nine years in September 2018. On April 20, 2020, Young put in a Paycheck Protection Program application for a $18,770 loan, claiming the company paid employees $7,508 per month.
Foreclosure Defender existed from June 2031 through September 2014, according to state records. But, using fraudulent IRS forms, Young applied for and received a $20,832 Paycheck Protection Program loan for Foreclosure Defender.
Young’s sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 30. Young threw up the disciplinary revocation white flag. It goes into effect Saturday. He can apply for readmission on Sept. 16, 2028, by which time he’ll likely have served any federal prison time.
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