SAn Diego Attorney Agrees to Be Disbarred For Participating in Credit Repair Scam
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 21, 2013 – A San Diego-based attorney has agreed to surrender his law license for participating in a scam that took advantage of hundreds of consumers desperate to repair their credit.
As part of a stipulation filed with State Bar Court on Oct. 18, Ernest George Georggin, 68, was ordered to pay $90,061 in restitution to 25 former clients, plus 10-percent interest per year since the date that they paid Georggin Law for credit repair services. The stipulation represents just a portion of the 650 former clients believed to have paid the law firm advanced fees for services it did not ultimately perform. Georggin was ordered ineligible to practice law as of today, pending approval of his disbarment by the California Supreme Court.
According to the stipulation, Georggin [bar # 60293] allowed non-attorney Eric Phillips to open a credit repair law firm in 2010 using Georggin’s name. Georggin turned the law firm over to Phillips and other non-attorneys, collecting a salary while Phillips exercised full authority and control over the firm, from staffing to managing firm bank accounts. Georggin was also not involved in evaluating or deciding whether to accept new clients, and did not supervise the firm’s non-attorney staff, which was allowed to perform limited legal services.
Georggin closed the firm in June of this year, taking custody and control of 650 client files. According to the stipulation, he has not performed any legal services of value on behalf of 25 clients named in the stipulation and has not returned any portion of the advanced fees they paid the firm.
By entering into the stipulation, Georggin admitted he is culpable of violations that include aiding a non-lawyer in the unauthorized practice of law, sharing fees with a non-lawyer, failing to perform legal services of value, failing to return advanced fees, failing to participate in the State Bar’s disciplinary investigation, and committing acts constituting moral turpitude. Georggin also engaged in the unauthorized practice of law and collected an illegal fee by accepting employment from a client who resides in Florida, where Georggin is not admitted to practice law.
The State Bar of California is an administrative arm of the California Supreme Court, serving the public and seeking to improve the justice system for more than 80 years. All lawyers practicing law in California must be members of the State Bar. By October 2013, membership reached 244,000.