Criminal Justice

Lawyer Blows Whistle on Own Firm, Testifies Against Ex-Partner at Trial

Daniel Bornais had looked forward to handing over much of his corporate client list to his younger partner, Scott Sullivan, as he headed down the road toward retirement.

But irregularities in the way Sullivan was handling the finances at Sullivan Istl and Bornais came to the senior partner’s attention not long after he joined the firm in 2007, Bornais testified yesterday at Sullivan’s fraud trial in Ontario, Canada. Eventually, Bornais recounted, he and the other name partner, who still practice together, confronted Sullivan, the Windsor Star reports.

The experience was “extremely unpleasant,” Bornais testified. “I never had such a meeting where I was so ignorant and belligerent with another human being. Our trust [fund] was out an awful lot of money. I told him these were not bookkeeping errors, there was money missing.”

Bornais reported his law firm to the Law Society of Upper Canada in early 2008 and requested that it conduct a financial investigation. That resulted in a criminal case against Sullivan, who is accused of mishandling client funds and facing charges of fraud, forging documents and breach of trust.

The trial is expected to take about two weeks.

Sullivan was disbarred earlier this year after having been found by a Law Society panel to have misappropriated a seven-figure sum from his law firm’s trust account, the Law Times reported in May.

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