Santa Ana attorney Dean Robert Kitano was disbarred by the State Bar Court of California on Feb 19.
The attorney was allegedly involved in fraudulent business partnership which caused a woman to lose most of her life savings. Kitano was taken to civil court and a judgment was entered against him. The ruling for disbarment stems from the attorney’s failure to inform the State Bar of the incident and judgment.
Kitano entered into a 50-50 partnership with Mir Akhorli in 2007 to open an MRI facility in Long Beach where the attorney invested $550,000.
According to court documents, Akhorli later sought a new partner for another 50-50 agreement and the new partner was asked to pay $300,000 for the 50 percent hold. The third partner began to have doubts about the MRI facility a month later when Akhorli purchased an old MRI machine model when he alleged he was going to purchase a new model as well as failed to funnel the promised volume of traffic to the facility.
On Jan. 30, 2008, Kitano allegedly sent a letter the third partner saying Akhorli wanted to sell his stake in the company for $550,000 without revealing to her that he was also an involved party. In April 2008, the third partner expressed her wish to sell her shares but was advised by the professional that she should wait until Akhorli sold his interests.
Kitano sat in on a meeting between Akhorli and the woman in which the former stated he was no longer interested in selling. Kitano again did not reveal is involvement with the MRI facility.
At this time, Akhorli was sued for another MRI facility and the plaintiff was awarded a multimillion dollar settlement that included the Long Beach facility. After its shutdown, the third partner sued both Kitano and Akhorli.
According to the California Bar Journal news release, Kitano was found “liable for breach of fiduciary duty, fraud by concealment, fraud by intentional misrepresentation and a violation of the Uniform Transfer Act,” although an appeals court later overturned the fiduciary duty judgement.
Kitano is required to notify all of his clients of the ruling, deliver any papers necessary to clients in regards to their cases, return any fees that remain unearned and alert opposing counsel in any pending litigation of his disbarment.