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Banking Law

Fax Cited in Hearing Against FL Lawyer

Posted Oct 10, 2007 6:18 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A lawyer for banking regulators pointed to a fax in an effort to show intentional wrongdoing by a former Greenberg Traurig lawyer accused of hiding evidence of $20 million in losses for a now-defunct bank.

Special Counsel Lee Strauss argued that Florida lawyer Carlos Loumiet split pages of a fax to make two transactions look separate for auditors: the downgrading of a Russian loan and the purchase of a junk Hong Kong loan at above-market prices, the Daily Business Review reports. The Office of Comptroller of the Currency claims the loan swap was intended to hide losses.

The agency is seeking a cease-and-desist order in an administrative proceeding to prevent Loumiet from representing federally insured financial institutions.

"This recklessness is not from a newly minted attorney caught in a rookie mistake," Strauss argued. "He is a sophisticated, experienced attorney."

Loumiet’s lawyer, Alan Greer, contends his client is being targeted even though the problems were due to lax OCC oversight. "This isn't even 20-20 hindsight. It's 20-10," he argued.

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