Orange County attorney disbarred following criminal convictions

By Olivia Olsen | Apr 21, 2017

LOS ANGELES — Rachelle Shalom Visconte, a Ranco Santa Margarita attorney, was recently disbarred by the State Bar Court of California after she was convicted of seven misdemeanor criminal counts in two separate matters that showed moral turpitude and warranting disbarment.

The court's decision was handed down on Feb. 4.

In December 2013, Orange County police officers investigated a report made in regards to a residence in which Visconte was present with boxes of personal items. During their search, the deputies found a case containing syringes, a narcotic pill and a Fentanyl patch. The attorney denied that the case belonged to her but when the officers asked her to pull up her sleeves, they found fresh needle injections. 

She was arrested for possession of narcotics and paraphernalia. VIsconte pleaded guilty to both misdemeanor counts. She was ordered by the criminal court to spend 180 days in an Orange Country jail and pay restitution. The state bar did not find these convictions displayed moral turpitude, though they held that the matter required discipline.

The second matter stemmed from an incident in January 2012 in which authorities responded to a forgery call at an Ace Cash Express, a loan provider and check cashing institution. Visconte allegedly tried to cash a $1,300 check from Sunset Mortgage, although when an Ace employee called the company to look into the validity of the check, they were informed that the company had no record of it. 

The police were called, and the attorney was convicted of several misdemeanors in conjunction with the attempted check cashing and was sentenced to 1 year in jail. However, Visconte did not show up for her imposed sentence, and the jail time was changed to 180 days to be served concurrently with the sentence from the drug charges. The state bar found that the fraud conviction displayed moral turpitude and thus disbarment was recommended and enacted.

Visconte was admitted to the California State Bar in 1996 after graduating from the University of California Berkeley School of Law Boalt Hall. She had no prior record of discipline. 

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