Statement of Charges Allowed by the Illinois Supreme Court
and Imposing Discipline on Consent

Allowed September 22, 2017

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF ILLINOIS

In the Matter of:

SHAMIM ESMAIL,

Attorney-Movant, 

No. 6237034 .

 

Supreme Court No. M.R.28737

Commission No. 2017PR00032

 

STATEMENT OF CHARGES
PURSUANT TO SUPREME COURT RULE 762(a)

Jerome Larkin, Administrator of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission ("ARDC"), by his attorney, Melissa A. Smart, pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 762(a), states that on the date Shamim Esmail (hereinafter "Movant") filed a motion requesting that her name be stricken from the Roll of Attorneys, the Administrator was investigating the conduct that formed the basis for Movant's plea of guilty to the offense of financial institution fraud of more than $100,000 and theft from the United States Treasury's Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) of more than $100,000, in the matter entitled The People of the State of Illinois v. Shamim Esmail, docket number 13CR14612, in the Circuit Court of Cook County. Had Movant's conduct been the subject of a hearing, the Administrator would have introduced the evidence described below, and that evidence would have clearly and convincingly established the misconduct indicated below:

I.    FACTUAL BACKGROUND

Movant's admissions and records from the Circuit Court of Cook County would establish the following:

1. In 2009, while acting as an officer, a member of the board of directors and general counsel to Premier Bank and several of its loan committees, Movant participated in preparing,

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and ultimately approved, Premier Bank's application for Trouble Asset Relief Program (TARP) funding from the United States Department of the Treasury.

2. At the time the TARP funding application was made, and as part of its application, Premier Bank relied on periodic reports issued by banks, known as "Call Reports." The Call Reports issued by Premier Bank to support its application for TARP funding falsely portrayed the current status of certain loans that had been issued by Premier Bank to borrowers. These Call Reports did not accurately reflect the borrowers' demonstrated inability to service their debt and they provided a distorted picture of Premier Bank's loan portfolio. Movant was aware that the Call Reports were not accurate at the time they were submitted in support of Premier Bank's TARP application.

3. Agencies of the United States Department of the Treasury relied on the information contained in Premier Bank's Call Reports in deciding to award TARP funds to Premier Bank. Movant was aware that agencies of the federal government would rely on Premier Bank's Call Reports in determining whether to issue TARP funding. Based on the inaccurate information supplied in the Premier Bank Call Reports, the United States Department of the Treasury awarded over $6 million in TARP funds to Premier Bank.

4. On July 30, 2013, a grand jury in Cook County returned a four-count indictment against Movant in the case The People of the State of Illinois v. Shamim Esmail, 13 CR 14612. The indictment charged Movant with engaging in two counts of wire fraud, each count a Class Three felony in violation of 720 ILCS 5/17-24(b); one count of theft by deception in excess of $1 million, in violation of 720 ILCS 5/16-1(a)(2), a Class X felony; and one count of theft by deception in excess of $100,000 but not exceeding $500,000, in violation of 720 ILCS 5/16-1(a)(2), a Class One felony.

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5. On November 1, 2016, Movant plead guilty to one count of financial institution fraud in excess of $100,000 but not exceeding $500,000, in violation of 720 ILCS 5/17-10.6(c)(1), a Class One felony; and one count of theft by deception in excess of $100,000 but not exceeding $500,000, in violation of 720 ILCS 5/16-1(a)(2), also a Class One felony, and a judgment of conviction was entered against her.

6. Movant has been sentenced to two years' probation and 250 hours of community service.

II.    CONCLUSIONS OF MISCONDUCT

7. By reason of the conduct outlined above, Movant has engaged in the following misconduct:

  1. committed criminal acts that reflect adversely on her honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer in other respects, by committing the offenses of financial institution fraud in excess of $100,000, a Class One felony, in violation of 720 ILCS 5/17-10.6(c)(1), and theft by deception in excess of $100,000, a Class One felony in violation of 720 ILCS 5/16-1(a)(2), in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(3) (1990) and Rule 8.4(b) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010);

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  1. conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation, by knowingly providing inaccurate Call Reports to the United States Department of the Treasury in order to receive TARP funds, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(4) (1990) and Rule 8.4(c) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010).

Melissa A. Smart
Counsel for Administrator
130 East Randolph Drive, Suite 1500
Chicago, Illinois 60601
Telephone: (312) 565-2600
msmart@iardc.org

Respectfully submitted,

Jerome Larkin, Administrator
Attorney Registration and
Disciplinary Commission

By:  /s/Melissa A. Smart
          Melissa A. Smart