The Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) has lodged a complaint against a Granite City attorney.
Filed last month, the five-count complaint accuses Alexander Marion Wilson of making false bankruptcy filings in five separate cases.
The ARDC complaint asserts that Wilson, an attorney with Wilson Law Offices LLC, engaged in misconduct when he allegedly failed to follow signature requirements under the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure.
This procedure, according to the complaint, requires petitioners in bankruptcy proceedings to review and sign a declaration on certain pleadings stating that, under penalty of perjury, the contents of the documents were true and correct.
While the 2002 adoption of the Electronic Case Filing (ECF) system in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Illinois didn’t change this requirement, the ARDC notes in the complaint that it did direct attorneys to electronically file pleadings containing their client’s original signature, verification or unsworn declaration.
The ARDC claims that Wilson affixed the electronic and written signatures of a handful of his clients seeking Chapter 13 relief on pleadings and declarations without their authorization.
These clients included Michael and Christina Heath; Gary Marsala, Jr., Shawne P. Silas-Wise, Joseph Long and Nathaniel Chambers, all of whom retained Wilson to represent them between 2009 and 2011.
Wilson’s representation that his clients had reviewed and signed these documents “was false and Respondent knew it was false,” the ARDC asserts in its complaint.
The ARDC contends that Wilson knowing made a false statement of fact or law to a tribunal in violation of Rule 3.3(a) (1) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct.
The complaint also alleges that Wilson violated Rule 8.4(c) of the Rules by engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation, as well as conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice and brings the profession into disrepute.
According to the ARDC’s website, a pre-hearing conference in Wilson’s disciplinary case --In re Wilson, 2012PR157--has been set for Jan. 23.