At the Law Offices of Graves and Ogden, we love to help our clients in any way we can. However, we think this story out of New Jersey about now-ex lawyer Neil Malvone may be a case of going the extra mile… the wrong way.
Malvone, then a partner at the Lombardi & Lombardi law firm in Edison, NJ, was hired by his close friend Michael King to represent him in his second divorce in 2007. Maybe that friendship was too close, because King's hope was that he could hide some of his assets from his wife by funneling them through King and his law firm.
According to court documents, in 2007 King approached Malvone about hiding $11,000 in assets that would have to be split with his ex-wife as part of their divorce. King transferred the $11,000 to Malvone in three checks, all made out to cash, two of which were purportedly for "legal services" and one for a fantasy football league in which the two men participated. King thought the money was going into Lombardi & Lombardi's trust account, but it was really going into Malvone's personal savings account.
Later in 2007, when King's divorce was finalized in a property settlement Malvone prepared, King was required to pay his wife $5,000. He repeatedly asked Malvone for the $5,000 from the funds he had given him, but Malvone stalled and then became unreachable.
King ended up using retirement funds to pay his ex-wife, and then began proceedings against him, proving that honesty, especially when dealing with the court and divorces, is always the best policy.
Lawyer disbarred for helping client hide funds from wife in divorce, then spent the money (NJ.com)