Northern California Record

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Beverly Hills attorney disbarred after allegedly misappropriating $8,300 from bankruptcy client

By Karen Kidd | Jul 26, 2017

Law money 05

Beverly Hills attorney Gene W. Chang has been disbarred by the California State Bar after he lied to a client about where more than $8,000 went during a bankruptcy proceeding, according to a recent decision.

Chang, allegedly in November 2015, received his client's tax refund of $8,323 that he was supposed to deposit in his trust account and was not truthful with the client about what happened to the money, according to the state bar's June 15 decision and order of involuntary inactive enrollment. The decision's 10 counts of allegations against Change included paying personal expenses from his client trust account.

Chang failed to participate in person or via counsel and state bar's decision and order for disbarment was entered by default. In cases such as this, when an attorney fails to participate in a California State Bar disciplinary proceeding despite adequate notice and opportunity, the bar invokes Rule 5.85, which provides the procedure for the state bar to recommend an attorney’s disbarment.

The bar's decision is pending final action by the California Supreme Court, an appeal before the bar's Review Department or expiration of time in which parties to may request further review within the State Bar Court.

Robinson was admitted to the bar in California June 12, 1995, according to his profile on the state bar's website.

In January, the state bar filed an entry for default when Chang failed to respond to an earlier motion. The state bar alleged Chang failed to maintain in his client trust account $8,323 that he had received from his client in a bankruptcy proceeding and then telling that client the money had been turned over to the trustee in the case. Chang allegedly misappropriated for his own purposes $8,124.26 in client funds, according to the decision.

Other counts against Chang included not responding to his client's inquiries for four months starting Dec. 2, 2015, failing to account to the client what actually happened to the client's money, commingling personal fund with his client trust account and failing to respond to and participate in a the state bar's investigation, according to the decision.

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