BEFORE THE HEARING BOARD

OF THE

ILLINOIS ATTORNEY REGISTRATION

AND

DISCIPLINARY COMMISSION

In the Matter of:

REEMA NICKI BAJAJ,

Attorney-Respondent,

No. 6302338.

Commission No. 2013PR00043

FILED --- May 9, 2013

COMPLAINT

Jerome Larkin, Administrator of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, by his attorney, Christine P. Anderson, pursuant to Supreme Court Rules 753(b) and 761(c), complains of Respondent, Reema Nicki Bajaj, who was licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois on November 4, 2010, and alleges that Respondent has engaged in the following conduct which tends to defeat the administration of justice or to bring the courts or the legal profession into disrepute, and which subjects Respondent to discipline pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 770:

COUNT I
(Criminal conduct and misdemeanor conviction for prostitution)

1. Between approximately 2005 and 2008, Respondent placed listings on an online website entitled, "AdultFriendFinder.com" ("Adult Friend Finder"). In the advertisements, she identified herself as "Nikita."

2. In approximately 2005, Harold Scott Pohl ("Pohl") contacted Respondent through a listing that Respondent had posted on Adult Friend Finder. After making contact with Respondent, she and Pohl corresponded through emails. In these emails, Respondent offered to perform various sex acts on Pohl for $200 an hour.

3. In approximately 2005, Respondent and Pohl set up a meeting. On that day, Respondent and Pohl went to a motel in DeKalb, Illinois, and Respondent performed a sex act on Pohl. In exchange for the sex act, Respondent requested and Pohl paid Respondent $200 in cash.

4. Between approximately at least 2005 and August 13, 2010, Respondent made approximately 25 appointments to meet with Pohl at his home. On each of those occasions, Pohl paid Respondent $100 in cash in exchange for Respondent performing sex acts with Pohl.

5. In approximately the winter of 2007, Allan Turner ("Turner") contacted Respondent through a listing that Respondent had posted on Adult Friend Finder. After making contact with Respondent, she and Turner corresponded through emails. In these emails, Respondent offered to perform various sex acts on Turner in exchange for money.

6. In 2007, shortly after the email exchanges, Respondent and Turner set up a meeting in a store parking lot. On that day, Respondent performed a sex act on Turner. In exchange for that sex act, Respondent requested and Turner paid Respondent $25 in cash.

7. Between approximately at least 2007 and January, 2011, on at least 10 to 12 occasions, Respondent made appointments to meet Turner at his home. On each of those occasions, Turner paid Respondent either $25 or $50 in cash, or equivalent store gift cards or DVDs, in exchange for Respondent performing sex acts with Turner. In addition, in late 2010 or early 2011, Turner purchased Respondent office supplies for her law office, totaling approximately $70, in exchange for a sex act.

8. Between April 7, 2011 and May 10, 2011, Respondent and Turner exchanged various emails. In those emails, Respondent offered to perform various sex acts on Turner and Turner's friend in exchange for money. In the emails, Respondent arranged to meet with Turner and his friend at Turner's home on Thursday, May 12, 2011, for the purpose of performing sex acts in exchange for money. On Wednesday, May 11, 2011, Respondent was questioned by the DeKalb County Police and the emails between Respondent and Turner were viewed by the investigating officers. Respondent did not appear for the scheduled meeting with Turner and his friend on May 12, 2011.

9. On May 31, 2011, the Office of the DeKalb County State's Attorney filed a three-count complaint, charging Respondent with prostitution, in violation of 720 ILCS 5/11-14(a). People of the State of Illinois v. Reema N. Bajaj, case no. 11CF375 (Circuit Court of DeKalb County).

10. The complaint, described in paragraph nine above, set forth the following allegations against Respondent:

  1. Count one of the complaint charged that, on or about August 13, 2010, Respondent committed the offense of prostitution, in that she did knowingly agree with Harold S. Pohl to perform an act of sexual penetration, sexual intercourse, for money, $100 United States Currency, said act committed within 1,000 feet of real property comprising a school, said offense being a class 4 felony.

  2. Count two of the complaint charged that, on or about August 13, 2010, Respondent committed the offense of prostitution, in that she did knowingly agree with Harold S. Pohl to perform an act of sexual penetration, sexual intercourse, for money, $100 United States Currency, said offense being a class A misdemeanor.

  3. Count three of the complaint charged that, on or about May 10, 2011, Respondent committed the offense of prostitution, in that she knowingly offered to perform an act of sexual penetration with Allan Turner, either by placing her mouth on the sex organ of Alan Turner or having sexual intercourse with Allan Turner, for money, $50 United States Currency, said offense being a class A misdemeanor.

11. On June 20, 2012, the State agreed to nolle prosse counts one and three of the complaint and Respondent pled guilty to count two, a class A misdemeanor charge of prostitution, in case no. 11CF375. The parties stipulated to the factual basis for the charge.

12. On June 20, 2012, the Honorable Robbin Stuckert found Respondent guilty of prostitution and sentenced Respondent to a term of two years of court supervision. In addition, the Court ordered that Respondent perform 50 hours of community service, pay fines and costs totaling $2,500, obtain a psychological evaluation, comply with all treatment recommendations, and obtain HIV and STD testing.

13. By reason of the conduct outlined above, Respondent has engaged in the following misconduct:

  1. committing a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects, in violation of 720 ILCS 5/11-14(a) and in violation of Rule 8.4(b) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

  2. conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice in violation of Rule 8.4(d) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct; and

  3. conduct which tends to defeat the administration of justice or to bring the courts or the legal profession into disrepute.

COUNT II
(Making false statements in connection with a disciplinary matter)

14. The Administrator realleges paragraphs one through twelve of Count I, above.

15. On September 21, 2012, Respondent appeared before the Administrator at the Commission offices and gave sworn testimony relating to the matters contained in Count I of the Complaint. During her sworn statement, Respondent was asked the following questions by Counsel for the Administrator and gave the following answers:

Q: … I want to ask you about when you first started any sort of business, a prostitution type business or getting paid for having sex or sexual relationships with men. (P. 33, L. 10-14)

A: I never charged for sex. (P. 33, L. 15)

Q: Okay. Did you ever get paid for having sex with individuals?

(P. 33, L. 16-17)

A: No. (P. 33, L. 18)

16. The answers given by Respondent during her sworn statement on September 12, 2012, described in paragraph 15, above, were false, and were intended to mislead the Administrator because Respondent, did receive payment from both Pohl and Turner, in both cash and gifts, in exchange for sex acts.

17. During her September 21, 2012 sworn statement, Respondent was asked the following questions by Counsel for the Administrator and gave the following answers:

Q: So you admitted at the time, you pled guilty anyways, that you agreed to accept $100 to have sex with Mr. Pohl, correct? (P. 35, L. 20-22)

A: That is correct. (P. 35, L. 23)

Q: But are you saying now that that's not true? (P. 35-36, L. 24, 1)

A: I am. I guess I'm saying I pled guilty to it and I do not believe that he paid me for sex. (P. 36, L. 2-3)

Q: Ever? (P. 36, L. 4)

A: Ever. (P. 36, L. 5)

Q: You do not believe Mr. Pohl ever paid you for sex? (P. 36, L. 6-7)

A: Correct. (P. 36, L. 8)

18. The answers given by Respondent during her sworn statement on September 12, 2012, described in paragraph 17, above, were false, and were intended to mislead the Administrator because Respondent did receive cash payments from Pohl, in exchange for sex acts.

19. During her September 21, 2012 sworn statement, Respondent was asked the following questions by Counsel for the Administrator with regard to Allan Turner and she gave the following answers:

Q: And is it accurate that you exchanged oral sex for cash, DVDs, or shopping? (P. 91-92, L. 24-1)

A: No. (P. 92, L. 2)

Q: Okay. Did you ever receive cash or DVDs or go shopping with him? (P. 92, L. 3-4)

A: He would loan me a movie that I would return to him. (P. 92, L. 5-6)

Q: Did you ever get cash from him? (P. 92, L. 11)

A: No. (P. 92, L. 12)

20. The answers given by Respondent during her sworn statement on September 12, 2012, described in paragraph 19, above, were false, and were intended to mislead the Administrator because Respondent did receive payment from Allan Turner, in both cash and gifts, in exchange for sex acts.

21. By reason of the conduct outlined above, Respondent has engaged in the following misconduct:

  1. making a statement of material fact known by the lawyer to be false in connection with a lawyer disciplinary matter in violation of Rule 8.1(a) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

  2. conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation in violation of Rule 8.4(c) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

  3. conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice in violation to Rule 8.4(d) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct; and

  4. conduct which tends to defeat the administration of justice or to bring the courts or the legal profession into disrepute.

COUNT III
(Making false statements on a bar application)

22. The Administrator realleges and incorporates paragraphs one through 20 in Count II, above.

23. On February 26, 2008, Respondent submitted to the Board of Admissions to the Bar an application for admission to the bar of Illinois ("application"). Respondent's application was made pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 704. On the application, she stated that her full name was "Reema Nicki Bajaj."

24. On January 15, 2010, Respondent submitted to the Board of Admissions to the Bar an additional questionnaire ("questionnaire").

25. In answer to Question 2A of the application and Question 8A of the questionnaire, Respondent answered "No" to the questions, "Have you ever been known by any other first, middle or last name?" At no time did Respondent provide any additional information in response to questions 2A and 8A.

26. Respondent's answers to the questions, "Have you ever been known by any other first, middle or last name?" were false, because Respondent used the name "Nikita" during the period of at least 2005 and until 2011.

27. Respondent knew her answers to the questions, "Have you ever been known by any other first, middle or last name?" were false.

28. Respondent's responses to questions 2A and 8A, as set forth above, contained material omissions which were intended to deceive the Board of Admissions to the Bar.

29. Question 25 of the application, described in paragraph 23 above, required Respondent to provide the following information: "List every job, … including without limitation all temporary, part-time, full-time, and self employment, paid or unpaid, you have held for the ten year period immediately prior to the date of the filing of this application."

30. Question 16 of the questionnaire, described in paragraph 24 above, required Respondent to provide the following information: "… subsequent to the filing of your most recent character and fitness questionnaire in Illinois, have you been employed, or continued to be employed, in any capacity including without limitation temporary, part time, full time, and self-employment, paid or unpaid? If yes, list jobs in reverse chronological order…"

31. In answer to questions 25 and 16, described in paragraphs 29 and 30 above, Respondent did not disclose her self-employment wherein she accepted cash and other monetary items in exchange for sex acts from Pohl and Turner.

32. Respondent knew her answers to questions 25 and 16, as set forth above, were false.

33. Respondent's responses to questions 25 and 16, as set forth above, contained material omissions which were intended to deceive the Board of Admissions to the Bar.

34. In answer to Question 53 of the application, described in paragraph 23 above, Respondent answered "No" to the question, "Is there any additional information with respect to possible misconduct or lack of moral qualification or general fitness on your part that is not otherwise disclosed by your answers to questions in this application?" At no time did Respondent provide any additional information in response to question 53.

35. Respondent's answer to the question, "Is there any additional information with respect to possible misconduct or lack of moral qualification or general fitness on your part that is not otherwise disclosed by your answers to questions in this application?" was false, because at the time Respondent submitted her application, she had continued to engage in conduct involving the exchange of sex acts for money and had done so beginning in at least 2005 and continuing until 2011.

36. Respondent knew her answer to the question, "Is there any additional information with respect to possible misconduct or lack of moral qualification or general fitness on your part that is not otherwise disclosed by your answers to questions in this application?" was false.

37. Respondent's response to question 53, as set forth above, contained a material omission which was intended to deceive the Board of Admissions to the Bar.

38. On November 4, 2010, Respondent was admitted to practice law in Illinois.

39. At no time on or before November 4, 2010 did Respondent submit a corrected or supplemental application to the Board of Admissions to the Bar.

40. By reason of the conduct outlined above, Respondent has engaged in the following misconduct:

  1. making a statement of material fact in a bar application known by the lawyer to be false, in violation of Rule 8.1(a) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

  2. conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation in violation of Rule 8.4(c) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

  3. conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice in violation to Rule 8.4(d) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct; and

  4. conduct which tends to defeat the administration of justice or to bring the courts or the legal profession into disrepute.

WHEREFORE, the Administrator requests that this case be assigned to a panel of the Hearing Board, that a hearing be conducted, that the panel make findings of fact and conclusions of fact and law and a recommendation for such discipline as is warranted.

Christine P. Anderson
Counsel for the Administrator
130 East Randolph Drive, #1500
Chicago, Illinois 60601
Telephone: 312-565-2600

Respectfully submitted,

Jerome Larkin, Administrator
Attorney Registration and
Disciplinary Commission

By:  Christine P. Anderson