Legal Ethics

Former White House Aide, Once a 4th Circuit Nominee, Is Suspended in DC for Petty Theft

A former White House aide in the administration of President George W. Bush and onetime nominee to a seat on the Richmond, Va.-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has had his law license suspended for a year in the District of Columbia after his conviction in a petty theft scheme.

Claude Allen had been convicted of misdemeanor theft for engaging in “a scheme of purchase and fraudulent return” from multiple Target stores in Maryland in 2005, in which he ended up with both items such as a Kodak printer and their purchase price, explains the District of Columbia Court of Appeals in a written opinion (PDF) today. He accomplished this by buying the item at one Target store, and using that receipt, along with the same item taken from the shelf at another Target store, to “return” it.

Although disciplinary counsel had sought disbarment, the appeals court said the one-year license suspension was more appropriate because “bar counsel did not prove by clear and convincing evidence that respondent’s actions were motivated by intentional dishonesty for personal gain, such that respondent’s conviction involves moral turpitude on the facts and requires disbarment.”

Allen previously had his license suspended in two other jurisdictions for 90 days over the same conduct and now is again licensed and in good standing in both.

Hat tip: Legal Profession Blog.

Related coverage:

Duke Law: “Profiles: Claude Allen ‘90 “

Time: “Former Bush Adviser Arrested in ‘Theft Scheme’”

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