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Iowa Supreme Court Attorney Disciplinary Board v. Engelmann

840 N.W.2d 156 (2013)

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Iowa Supreme Court Attorney Disciplinary Board v. Engelmann

Iowa Supreme Court

840 N.W.2d 156 (2013)

Facts

Experienced real estate transaction attorney Marc Engelmann (defendant) helped his clients obtain nine mortgage loans through fraud. The buyers and sellers agreed on a purchase price then listed an inflated price of $30,000 to $35,000 more on loan documents. Engelmann knew the true purchase prices were less than the amounts the forms showed but prepared loan documents showing the inflated numbers. The lenders relied on the loan documents and loaned more than the purchase prices, and the sellers gave the extra to the buyers as kickbacks. Engelmann charged $350 for each closing, reflecting a volume discount from his usual $400 fee. Otherwise, no evidence or claim showed he personally benefited from the transactions. After his clients defaulted on the loans in the 2008 market crash, a jury found Engelman guilty of conspiring to commit bank and wire fraud. As a result, the Iowa Supreme Court Attorney Disciplinary Board (plaintiff) brought a disciplinary action against Engelmann for violating the ethics rules.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Waterman, J.)

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