SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Supreme Court Justices censured lawyer David Fahrenkamp of Edwardsville on Sept. 26, for cheating on his taxes.
Censure means official condemnation.
Fahrenkamp had agreed to accept censure in May, to resolve proceedings at the Illinois Attorney Registration and Discipline Commission.
Commission examiners approved the agreement after finding he paid two thirds of his debt to the Internal Revenue Service and promised to pay the rest.
Commission administrator Jerome Larkin charged Fahrenkamp with misconduct in January, alleging he owed the government $228,659.72.
Larkin wrote that he committed a criminal act that reflected adversely on the honesty of lawyers and brought the profession into disrepute.
He wrote that from 1995 to 2006, Fahrenkamp withheld income tax, Social Security tax and Medicare tax from paychecks of Susie Wells and Kim Kiel.
He wrote that Fahrenkamp did not remit those amounts to IRS.
He wrote that Fahrenkamp also owed the state of Illinois about $13,000.
He wrote that the Supreme Court reprimanded him in 2000.
In February, Fahrenkamp admitted he didn't remit the amounts and that failure to do so was a criminal offense under federal law.
Fahrenkamp's lawyer, Eddie Unsell of Alton, found three judges and four lawyers ready to testify to his client's honesty and integrity.
A week before Fahrenkamp's hearing, he and Larkin agreed on censure.
Larkin wrote, "Respondent's misconduct did not result in his prosecution on criminal charges, with the attendant cost to the judicial system and greater potential to bring the profession into disrepute."
At the hearing, Leo Konzen of Granite City asked about prior discipline.
Unsell said Fahrenkamp didn't follow up on a criminal appeal.
Konzen asked what effect it would have on his discipline if he didn't repay all he owed and IRS indicted and convicted him.
Unsell said a five year statute of limitations would bar any action.
Konzen asked if it would bar the commission from acting, and Unsell said no.
Fahrenkamp has practiced law since 1978, in solo practice since 1984.
He keeps an office directly across from the Madison County courthouse.
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