Submitted February 3, 2015
Appellate Case No. 2014-002701.
Lesley M. Coggiola, Disciplinary Counsel, and Julie K. Martino, Assistant Disciplinary Counsel, both of Columbia, for Office of Disciplinary Counsel.
Tammie Lynn Hoffman, of Magnolia, Texas, Pro se.
[411 S.C. 416] PER CURIAM:
In this attorney disciplinary matter, respondent and the Office of Disciplinary Counsel (ODC) have entered into an Agreement for Discipline by Consent (Agreement) pursuant to Rule 21 of the Rules for Lawyer Disciplinary Enforcement (RLDE) contained in Rule 413 of the South Carolina Appellate Court Rules (SCACR). In the Agreement, respondent admits misconduct and consents to the imposition of a definite suspension of nine (9) months or more or disbarment. In addition, respondent agrees to pay the costs incurred in the investigation and prosecution of this matter within thirty (30) days of the date of the imposition of discipline. We accept the Agreement and disbar respondent from the practice of law in this state. Respondent shall pay the costs incurred in the investigation and prosecution of this matter by ODC and the Commission on Lawyer Conduct (the Commission) within thirty (30) days of the date of this opinion. The facts, as set forth in the Agreement, are as follows.
On August 27, 2008, John Doe, a Nevada resident, wired $25,000.00 to respondent's trust account. Doe believed he was entering into an investment with Tom Roe, a third party (" Third Party" ). Third Party told Doe via email that he would purchase a collateral mortgage obligation (CMO) on Doe's behalf and that Doe's funds would triple in three to five business days. Third Party also informed Doe that the investment was backed by real estate to match Doe's initial investment, [411 S.C. 417] but did not elaborate on this statement. Third Party assured Doe that the deal was solid because a law firm would type up and notarize the documents. Third Party instructed Doe to wire the money to respondent's trust account and Doe transferred the money as instructed.
Doe's money was apparently never invested and was never returned. On August 27, 2008, the same day Doe's $25,000.00 was wired into respondent's account, $24,750.00 was transferred out of the trust account. The recipient of these funds is unknown. On August 28, 2008, the remaining $250.00 was transferred to an unknown recipient.
On January 22, 2009, another $25,000.00 was transferred to respondent's trust account. The source of these funds is unknown.
Three checks from respondent's trust account bearing respondent's signature were written on January 22, 2009. These checks, #1002 for $8,500.00, #1003 for $8,500.00, and #1004 for $5,700.00, were made out to Third Party for a total of $22,700.00. Respondent denies writing these checks and denies any knowledge of Third Party or Doe.
Doe attempted to contact respondent to determine what happened to his money and to the property that allegedly secured the transaction. Respondent did not respond to Doe. She alleged she had no contact with Doe and that she had moved out of ...