Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Suspended lawyer faces new allegations of misconduct from wife
Embattled Las Vegas lawyer Brian Bloomfield, whose law license is suspended in the wake of a felony conviction, is facing new allegations of misconduct from a new source — his estranged wife.
Bloomfield, 40, is facing a five-year suspension over his December 2013 guilty plea to felony and gross misdemeanor charges in a scheme that provided Las Vegas Justice Court with phony certificates of completion on behalf of clients ordered to undergo counseling and perform community service.
He and his wife, Amber Bloomfield, 32, are now locked in bitter divorce and child custody proceedings. Issues she has raised could affect an upcoming decision by the Nevada Supreme Court on his fitness to practice law. The high court has the option of a stiffer penalty, including disbarment.
In an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Amber alleges her husband:
-- Lied under oath to the disciplinary panel of the State Bar of Nevada that recommended the suspension following a day of testimony in which Bloomfield expressed remorse. The Bar's chief prosecutor had sought disbarment at the June hearing.
-- Forced her to marry him after he was indicted for forging court documents so she could assert the marital privilege and not have to testify against him. They were married in January 2012, a month after Bloomfield's indictment.
-- Tipped the accountant for lawyer Vicki Greco to a police investigation of the lawyer. Greco was indicted last week on 138 felony and gross misdemeanor charges, including forging court documents and destroying evidence.
Bloomfield's attorney, William Terry, rebutted Amber Bloomfield's claims and said he doesn't think his client lied at the disciplinary hearing.
State Bar Counsel Stan Hunterton declined comment.
In their now-sealed divorce case, the Bloomfields have exchanged a slew of inflammatory allegations as they fight for custody of their three young children. Each accuses the other of mental instability and of displaying personal behavior detrimental to the children.
Amber Bloomfield acknowledged in the interview that she overdosed on prescription drugs in a failed suicide attempt during the criminal investigation of her husband. She said she tried to take her own life because of her husband's repeated infidelity.
Brian Bloomfield told the State Bar disciplinary panel that he has undergone psychological counseling and is on prescription medication for depression and anxiety. At the hearing he portrayed himself as an emotional wreck.
Family Court Judge Linda Marquis, a longtime Terry associate prior to the criminal investigation of Bloomfield, is overseeing the divorce case. She has disclosed her former relationship with Terry in court.
Both Bloomfields were targeted in the Las Vegas police investigation. Amber was charged under her maiden name, McDearmon, and later pleaded guilty to a gross misdemeanor charge of destroying evidence. Her sentence was for time served — the day she spent in jail following her 2012 arrest.
Brian Bloomfield in his guilty plea admitted that he filed or helped file forged court records in 91 cases that falsely claimed his clients, mostly prostitutes, had completed the counseling or community service. He also admitted having office files destroyed to cover his actions. He is waiting to be sentenced.
At his disciplinary hearing in June, Bloomfield sobbed repeatedly, begging a five-member panel to let him keep his law license.
He denied personally destroying key client files in the courthouse fraud and said he once sat in a closet in his house with a handgun contemplating suicide.
His wife says that's not true.
"It's a lie that he didn't destroy any client files," Amber Bloomfield said. "I went to his office with him. He was pulling papers out and throwing them in a pile. They were files the police didn't know about."
At the hearing, Bloomfield testified that he asked his legal runner at the time, Brandon Snowden, to "get rid" of a stack of documents police left on his desk during a raid on April 27, 2010.
But Snowden, who is a felon, testified before the grand jury that he helped shred client file documents and left the office with three bags of shredded papers.
Instead of throwing the bags in the trash, Snowden gave them to police, leading to more charges against Bloomfield. A police forensic specialist spent 10 weeks reassembling the documents.
Terry said Bloomfield was candid about having documents destroyed and believed none of the papers were relevant to the investigation. But in hindsight, Terry said, his client shouldn't have destroyed anything.
"There was at least a reason to believe that the police, as a result of their investigation, would be interested in additional files, and that's where the problem was," he said.
Bloomfield's testimony about suicidal thoughts?
"Complete lie," Amber said.
Bloomfield hasn't owned a gun since police seized one of his along with a bag of marijuana in the 2010 raid and another was later stolen, she said.
"He's in love with himself," Amber added. "The last thing he would do is take his own life."
Terry said he believes his client.
"I can tell you he was going through depression," Terry said. "He had an immense amount of stress in the newspaper. I wasn't in the closet with him, but I believe he contemplated suicide."
Despite their differences, Amber said, she always wanted to marry Bloomfield, but it didn't happen as she envisioned.
One morning several weeks after Bloomfield's indictment, she explained, he woke her and said he wanted to get married that day.
"He told me that I had to marry him," she said. "He didn't want to take the chance of the police forcing me to testify against him."
With that, they rushed to a downtown wedding chapel.
"To my knowledge no one forced anyone to marry anyone to assert a husband-wife privilege,'' Terry countered. "That wouldn't have protected him. Only communication is privileged, not an act such as destroying files."
Amber said she suspects her husband recently tried to influence the criminal case against Vicki Greco, his friend.
After police interviewed Bloomfield about the forgery allegations surrounding Greco, he went to see Greco's accountant, Amber said.
Bloomfield said he thought the accountant, who also handled the couple's taxes, might be raided by police and wanted to warn her about it, according to his wife.
Greco's indictment describes Bloomfield meeting her in 2010 and 2011 to discuss ways to hide evidence from police.
Terry wouldn't comment on anything to do with the Greco case because the investigation is ongoing.
Amber said her husband also wasn't honest at the disciplinary hearing about his current earnings. He testified that he is paid $9 per hour in a telemarketing call room but did not reveal thousands of dollars in commissions, she said.
Terry said Bloomfield isn't making a lot of money on commissions and has needed financial help from his parents.
According to Amber, her husband and some of his friends who testified at the hearing ruined her reputation by trying to blame his legal and professional troubles on her. She said she was falsely accused of being a drug addict and a "crazy, horrible person."
Terry said he was surprised when testimony about Bloomfield's wife surfaced at the hearing and he did not intend for that to happen.
As for Bloomfield's expression of remorse, Amber said she wasn't impressed.
"It's the biggest (B.S.) ever," she said. "He still refuses to take responsibility for what he did."
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Suspended lawyer faces new allegations of misconduct from wife