A personal injury lawyer in Aurora will lose his law license for two-and-a-half years after admitting that he forged his brother’s signature on more than a dozen documents.
Meanwhile, state investigators have dropped allegations that Michael Yi defrauded the unemployment system and Paycheck Protection Program during the pandemic.
Yi has been licensed to practice law in Colorado since 2005. After seven years as an Aurora city prosecutor, he started Michael Yi & Associates, an injury law firm with a focus on helping Asian clients, in 2012. The firm also has a Colorado Springs office.
“We are proud of the high legal and ethical standards that have been established by our firm and the tradition of excellence that we work to maintain,” the firm’s website states.
According to the Colorado Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel, which investigates wrongdoing by lawyers, Yi was employing five people at the firm when the pandemic arrived in March 2020. The office initially alleged that he told them to collect unemployment benefits — and to keep working.
“From March 2020 to August 2020, knowing these employees were receiving unemployment benefits, (Yi) did not pay these employees even though they were working for him full-time,” Attorney Regulation Counsel staff alleged in an August 2022 complaint.
Yi also received a PPP loan while he wasn’t paying employees, that complaint alleged.
The document accused Yi of a dozen ethics violations, including using the notary stamp of his brother and forging his brother’s signature “on at least 14 different clients’ settlement documents.” Yi committed three crimes as a result, the complaint said.
Yi, through his attorneys, responded to the accusations in