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Ex-Lawyer Who Ignored Federal Court Order to Pay Big Bucks to Abandoned Client Is Now Jailed

Posted Aug 10, 2012 1:57 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Two lawyers found to have abandoned a client after his sentencing in a federal criminal case were not only ordered to disgorge all of the $275,000 paid in legal fees but cover the cost of his new defense counsel.

However, U.S. Magistrate Judge William Turnoff is still trying to figure out how to force Emmanuel Roy and Peter Mayas to ante up as required by his September order, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports.

After a time-consuming journey as a federal prisoner from New York, where Roy was arrested in mid-July, to Oklahoma to Miami, he told Turnoff on Thursday that he is now penniless. The judge set bond at $250,000, with a $5,000 cash requirement, and scheduled a contempt hearing on Aug. 16.

The 45-year-old Roy has voluntarily given up his New York law license and was disbarred in Florida, the article says.

Meanwhile, Mayas also has not made the required payment, attorney Paul Petruzzi, who now represents the pair's former client, Patrick Coulton, tells the newspaper.

Mayas appeared at hearings earlier this year, but his claims that he would turn over property were "empty promises," according to Petruzzi.

An earlier Sun Sentinel article gives further details about prior hearings.

Reportedly, neither Roy nor Mayas was authorized to represent clients in federal court in South Florida when they worked on Coulton's case.

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