BEFORE THE HEARING BOARD
ILLINOIS ATTORNEY REGISTRATION
In the Matter of:
JEFFREY WADE DEER,
Commission No. 2018PR00074
FILED --- August 30, 2018
Jerome Larkin, Administrator of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, by his attorney, Albert S. Krawczyk, pursuant to Supreme Court Rules 753(b) and 761, complains of Respondent, Jeffrey Wade Deer, who was licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois on November 8, 1990, and alleges that Respondent has engaged in the following conduct which subjects Respondent to discipline pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 770:
(Convictions of Forgery and Subornation of Perjury)
1. At all times alleged in this complaint, Section 17-3(a)(1) of the Illinois Criminal Code made it a Class 3 felony offense to, with intent to defraud, knowingly make or alter a document apparently capable of defrauding another in such a manner that it purports to have been made by another, or at another time, or made with different provisions, and Section 32-3(a) of the Illinois Criminal Code made it a Class 4 felony offense to procure or induce another to commit perjury.
2. In August 2011, Troy Clark ("Clark") was arrested and charged in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, with offenses relating to trafficking controlled substances in the matters entitled People of the State of Illinois vs. Troy Clark, case numbers 11 CR 15697, 11 CR 15698, 11 CR 15699, 11 CR 15700 and 11 CR 15701 ("Clark's cases"), and, on August 27, 2011, the court in his cases set his bond at $400,000 cash, with the requirement that a source of bail bond hearing ("SOBB hearing") be conducted before bail could be posted for Clark.
3. In late September or early October 2011, Clark's girlfriend, Tamira Smyth ("Smyth"), was introduced to Respondent. At or about that time, Smyth and Respondent agreed that Respondent would assist Smyth in posting funds for Clark's bond. Thereafter, Smyth delivered hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash to Respondent in installments, and Respondent devised a transaction in which Smyth would not be identified as the source of funds for Clark's bond.
4. In or about October 2011, Respondent contacted Kevin Frank ("Frank") and Kenneth Lukowski ("Lukowski"), employees of Forshay Land Title & Appraisal Services, Inc. ("Forshay Land Title"), a business located in Roscoe, Illinois. At or about that time, Respondent promised to pay thousands of dollars to Lukowski, and, to explain the source of $400,000 being available for Clark's bail, Lukowski agreed to testify under oath at a SOBB hearing in Clark's cases about a fictitious transaction regarding property that Lukowski owned at 12746 Waltham Close in Roscoe ("Waltham Close property").
5. In or about October 2011, Lukowski prepared and submitted to Respondent fictitious documents relating to the Waltham Close property, including a purported mortgage dated October 3, 2011, notarized by Frank, to secure a fictitious payment from Forshay Storage & Van, Inc. ("Forshay Storage & Van"), an entity controlled by Forshay Land Title; and a disbursement statement dated October 3, 2011, purportedly from Forshay Land Title as settlement agent. The fictitious mortgage was recorded and file-stamped by the office of the Winnebago County Recorder of Deeds on October 11, 2011, and then Respondent caused the recorded mortgage to be altered to add an additional property located at 10773 Chicory Ridge Way in Roscoe ("Chicory Ridge Way property").
6. In or about October 2011, Respondent prepared a promissory note dated October 11, 2011, purportedly between Lukowski and Forshay Storage & Van, in which Lukowski, as borrower, agreed to pay $400,000 to Forshay Storage & Van, as lender. The promissory note bore the purported signature of Lukowski.
7. The promissory note, as described in paragraph 6 above, was false and misleading in that Lukowski did not sign the note, there had been no loan transaction between Lukowski and Forshay Storage & Van, and Respondent knew that there had been no such loan transaction.
8. On or before October 12, 2011, Clark's attorney received the fictitious documents prepared by Lukowski and the purported promissory note prepared by Respondent and attached them to a petition that he caused to be filed in Clark's cases in support of a SOBB hearing scheduled to be heard on October 18, 2011.
9. On October 18, 2011, Lukowski drove to Respondent's office in Chicago and met Smyth, who drove him to the Criminal Courts Building at 26th and California.
10. On October 18, 2011, Lukowski appeared before the Honorable Lawrence Flood in connection with Clark's cases. At that time, Lukowski, among other things, provided the following answer (referred to as "A") under oath in response to a question (referred to as "Q") posed by Clark's attorney:
Q: Sir, you understand that -- What is your relationship
with Mr. Clark?
A: Met in Michigan, with his parents, through my brother
in law, but over the years we've developed a friendship and
business acquintances. Real estate funds, finances.
11. On October 18, 2011, Lukowski, while appearing before Judge Flood in connection with Clark's cases, provided the following answers (referred to as "A") under oath in response to questions (referred to as "Q") posed by an assistant state's attorney:
Q: Sir, what are the two properties you are securing a loan
A: 10773 Chicory Ridge Way
Q: That's your house?
A: Where I reside. Another at 12743 Walden Court (misspelled)
12. On October 18, 2011, Lukowski, while appearing before Judge Flood in connection with Clark's cases, provided the following answers (referred to as "A") under oath in response to questions (referred to as "Q") posed by Judge Flood, in reference to the Chicory Ridge Way property:
Q: Okay. Now, your property that you own, that you
liver (sic) in, in Roscoe, Illinois, how long ago did you buy
A: Eight years ago.
Q: That was secured with a mortgage and that mortgage is
now about a hundred thousand dollars?
13. Lukowski's testimony, as set forth in paragraphs 10, 11 and 12 above, was false and misleading in that Lukowski had never met Clark prior to testifying on October 18, 2011, Lukowski never obtained a loan on either the Waltham Close property or Chicory Ridge Way property to obtain funds to post Clark's bond, and Lukowski did not own the Chicory Ridge Way property.
14. On or about October 20, 2011, in reliance on Lukowski's false testimony and the purported promissory note and other fictitious documents, Judge Flood entered an order allowing funds from the purported loan transaction between Lukowski and Forshay Storage & Van to be used to post bond in Clark's cases.
15. On October 20, 2011, Forshay Land Title obtained a cashier's check from Associated Bank payable to the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County in the amount of $400,000, from funds other than the purported loan transaction between Lukowski and Forshay Storage & Van, and, thereafter, Frank delivered the check to Respondent's office and Smyth obtained the check and used it to post bond for Clark.
16. On or about November 17, 2011, Judge Flood, upon the State's motion to reconsider Clark's bond based upon evidence that was uncovered showing that the purported loan transaction between Lukowski and Forshay Storage & Van was a sham, entered an order for Clark to be taken back into custody, for Clark's bond be reinstated to $400,000 cash, and for the money which had been posted on his behalf be frozen pending an investigation.
17. On July 18, 2012, based on the events described in paragraphs two through 16, above, and other information, a grand jury charged Respondent with five counts of money laundering, two counts of forgery and one count of subornation of perjury, in an 11-count indictment returned against him and others in the Circuit Court of Cook County, in the matter entitled People of the State of Illinois vs. Jeffrey Deer et al., case number 12 CR 12822.
18. Count 7 of the indictment in case number 12 CR 12822 charged that on or about October 11, 2011 and continuing on through October 12, 2011, Respondent committed the offense of forgery, in that with the intent to defraud, he knowingly made or altered a promissory note (described in paragraph 6 above), apparently capable of defrauding another, in violation of Chapter 720, Act 5, Section 17-3(a)(1) of the Illinois Compiled Statutes, 1992, as amended.
19. Count 8 of the indictment in case number 12 CR 12822 charged that on or about August 26, 2011 and continuing on through October 18, 2011, Respondent committed the offense of subornation of perjury, in that he procured or induced Lukowski to make a statement in violation of the perjury statute (720 ILCS 5/32-2) which Respondent knew to be false, in violation of Chapter 720, Act 5, Section 32-3(a) of the Illinois Compiled Statutes, 1992, as amended.
20. On July 26, 2018, pursuant to a plea agreement, Respondent pled guilty to forgery and subornation of perjury, as charged in Counts 7 and 8 of the indictment in case number 12 CR 12822.
21. On July 26, 2018, the Honorable Alfredo Maldonado entered a judgment of conviction against Respondent as to Counts 7 and 8 of the indictment in case number 12 CR 12822, and sentenced Respondent to a concurrent term of two-years probation, with conditions including completion of the TASC (Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities) Treatment Program. On the motion of the State, Judge Maldonado dismissed all of the other counts of the criminal indictment returned against Respondent.
22. As a result of the judgment of conviction and the conduct described above, Respondent has engaged in the following misconduct:
committing criminal acts that reflect adversely on his honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects, by conduct including the commission of the criminal offenses of forgery (720 ILCS 5/17-3(a)(1)) and subornation of perjury (720 ILCS 5/32-3(a)), in violation of Rule 8.4(b) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010); and
conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation, by conduct including the forgery of a promissory note and procuring or inducing Kenneth Lukowski to provide perjured testimony, in violation of Rule 8.4(c) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010).
WHEREFORE, the Administrator requests that this matter be assigned to a panel of the Hearing Board, that a hearing be held, and that the panel make findings of fact, conclusions of facts and law, and a recommendation for such discipline as is warranted.
Albert S. Krawczyk
Jerome Larkin, Administrator