BEFORE THE HEARING BOARD
OF THE
ILLINOIS ATTORNEY REGISTRATION
AND
DISCIPLINARY COMMISSION

In the Matter of:

ROBERT A. HUFF,

Attorney-Respondent, 

No. 6240031.

 

Commission No.   2011PR00082

FILED -  July 8, 2011

COMPLAINT

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, Robert A. Huff, who was licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois on June 17, 1997, 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:

Count I
(Conviction of Conspiracy to Distribute 1,000 Grams or More of Marijuana)

1. Beginning in or about 2007, in approximately five transactions, Respondent purchased 108 pounds of marijuana from Oskar W. Sheldon.

2. In or before 2007, Sheldon obtained marijuana from outdoor and indoor "grow operations" that he ran jointly with others in northern California and through individuals in the state of Washington, and he sold most of the marijuana to customers, including Respondent, in California, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Chicago, Illinois. Sheldon used female couriers traveling on interstate highways to transport 100 to 200 pounds of marijuana at a time, and he then sent the proceeds of the sales back to California or Washington by way of money orders in large denominations shipped in bulk in express mail packages.

3. In October 2007, during the distribution of a one load of marijuana, Sheldon stayed at Respondent's property in Gary, Indiana, and stored several hockey duffel bags, containing a total of about 250 pounds of marijuana, in Respondent's garage. Before Sheldon distributed the marijuana, Respondent allowed Sheldon to keep the bags at Respondent's condominium in downtown Chicago. Respondent purchased 15 pounds of the marijuana contained in the bags. Afterwards, on a couple of occasions, Respondent sold a quantity of marijuana in Chicago for Sheldon.

4. In early November 2007, Respondent and an associate traveled to California to meet with Sheldon and make arrangements for delivery of marijuana to Chicago. At that time, they went to what was called the "chicken ranch," where they picked out quantities of marijuana from one-pound packages stored inside a chicken coop or shed.

5. On or before January 15, 2008, as a result of the acts described in paragraphs one through four, above, a grand jury sitting in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, returned a one-count indictment against Respondent and other defendants in the matter entitled United States of America v. Oskar W. Sheldon et al., case number 08-CR-36.

6. On January 24, 2008, Respondent was arrested at his property in Gary, Indiana. At that time, law enforcement agents seized approximately 14 pounds of marijuana and approximately $2,287 in cash. In a search of Respondent's Chicago condominium, agents also found several money orders in the amounts of $1,000 to be sent to Sheldon in California, and approximately $26,650 in cash in a safe.

7. On or before February 5, 2008, a grand jury sitting in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, returned a five-count superseding indictment against Respondent and other defendants in case number 08-CR-36. A copy of the superseding indictment and notice of forfeiture, as filed on February 19, 2008, is attached as Exhibit One.

8. Count One of the superseding indictment in case number 08-CR-36 charged that beginning sometime in 2006, and continuing through January 24, 2008, in the State and Eastern District of Wisconsin and elsewhere, Respondent and other defendants knowingly and intentionally conspired with each other and persons known and unknown to the grand jury, to possess with the intent to distribute and to distribute 1,000 kilograms or more of a mixture and substance containing marijuana, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(b)(1)(A) and 846, and Title 18, United States Code, Section 2. Count Two of the superseding indictment charged Respondent and other defendants with conspiracy to conceal or disguise the source, ownership and control of the proceeds of drug trafficking, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1956(h).

9. On August 19, 2009, Respondent pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute 1,000 grams or more of marijuana, as set forth in Count One of the superseding indictment in case number 08-CR-36.

10. On December 14, 2009, the Honorable Michael J. Reagan entered a judgment of conviction against Respondent as to Count One of the superseding indictment in case number 08-CR-36, and sentenced Respondent to a term of 24 months imprisonment. Judge Reagan placed Respondent on supervised release for five years upon his release from imprisonment and ordered that Respondent complete 250 hours of community service while on supervised release and that he pay a fine of $3,000 and an assessment of $100. The judge dismissed Count Two as to Respondent, on the motion of the United States. A copy of the judgment of conviction is attached as Exhibit Two.

11. On October 21, 2010, the court in case number 08-CR-36 granted a motion to reduce sentence filed on Respondent's behalf and entered an order reducing Respondent's sentence from 24 months to 18 months imprisonment.

12. As a result of the judgment of conviction and the conduct described 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 Rule 8.4(a)(3) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

  2. conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(4) 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, in violation of Supreme Court Rule 770.

Count II
(Failure to Notify the Administrator of Conviction Within 30 Days)

13. The Administrator realleges paragraphs 1 through 11 of Count I, above.

14. Supreme Court Rule 761(a) provides that it is the duty of an attorney admitted in Illinois who is convicted in any court of a felony or misdemeanor to notify the Administrator of the conviction in writing within 30 days of the entry of the judgment of conviction. Pursuant to Rule 761(a), Respondent was required to notify the Administrator of his conviction by January 12, 2010.

15. Respondent did not notify the Administrator of his conviction in case number 08-CR-36 by January 12, 2010, as required by Supreme Court Rule 761(a).

16. Respondent notified the Administrator of his conviction in case number 08-CR-36 in a written communication dated March 29, 2011.

17. As a result of the conduct described above, Respondent has engaged in the following misconduct:

  1. conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(5) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

  2. failing to notify the Administrator of his conviction in writing within 30 days after the entry of the judgment of conviction in violation of Supreme Court Rule 761(a); and

  3. conduct which tends to defeat the administration of justice or to bring the courts or the legal profession into disrepute in violation of Supreme Court Rule 771.

WHEREFORE, the Administrator requests that a hearing be conducted before a panel of the Hearing Board, 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
Counsel for Administrator
One Prudential Plaza
130 East Randolph Drive, #1500
Chicago, Illinois 60601
Telephone: (312) 565-2600
Facsimile: (312) 565-2320
Respectfully submitted,

Jerome Larkin, Administrator
Attorney Registration and
Disciplinary Commission

By:   Albert S. Krawczyk