Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Suspended lawyer accused of lying at state bar hearing

Suspended defense lawyer Brian Bloomfield lied under oath before a state bar panel considering action against him over his forgery guilty plea, a prosecutor charged in court Wednesday.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Marc DiGiacomo also accused Bloomfield of trying to disrupt the forgery investigation of another lawyer, Vicki Greco, who was indicted by a county grand jury in December on 139 felony and gross misdemeanor counts.

Both lawyers were involved in a courthouse scheme to provide clients, mostly prostitutes, with phony certificates of completion for court-ordered counseling and community service to resolve misdemeanor cases, prosecutors have alleged.

DiGiacomo leveled the latest allegations against Bloomfield while seeking prison time for Bloomfield during his sentencing before District Judge Jessie Walsh. The judge wanted time to review the transcript of the bar hearing and reset the sentencing to March 7.

"All lawyers are distrusted because of the actions of Mr. Bloomfield," DiGiacomo said. "He harmed the community."

DiGiacomo's allegations validated claims made by Bloomfield's estranged wife and co-defendant, Amber Bloomfield, in a December Las Vegas Review-Journal story.

His wife, who is locked in a bitter child custody battle with Bloomfield, sat in court Wednesday away from his family. She pleaded guilty and got no prison time because of her cooperation with prosecutors.

DiGiacomo said Bloomfield lied when he told the State Bar of Nevada panel in June that he didn't personally participate in the destruction of files at his office in April 2010.

His words contradicted what he admitted to authorities in November 2013 before he pleaded guilty to felony forgery charges, DiGiacomo argued.

"There is nothing credible about anything he's ever said to us," DiGiacomo told Walsh. "We can't tell when he's telling the truth."

DiGiacomo said Bloomfield even originally lied to authorities about his knowledge of Greco's alleged involvement in the courthouse counseling scheme.

Following an August meeting with police and prosecutors in which they questioned Bloomfield about Greco's role in the scheme, Bloomfield made a clandestine, late-night visit to the home of Greco's accountant and tipped her off to the investigation, DiGiacomo said.

Prosecutors believe the courthouse scheme started with Greco in 2008, DiGiacomo said.

Bloomfield's errant actions since pleading guilty show he doesn't understand the seriousness of the harm he has caused to the justice system, DiGiacomo argued.

Defense lawyer William Terry did not get a chance to respond to DiGiacomo's allegations in court, but he will have an opportunity when the sentencing resumes in March.

Terry declined to comment afterward. He previously has said he did not believe Bloomfield lied at the bar hearing.

Bloomfield, whose license was temporarily suspended after his guilty plea, is waiting to hear whether the Nevada Supreme Court will accept a five-year suspension recommended by the disciplinary panel in the forgery case or impose a tougher punishment.

State bar prosecutors want Bloomfield permanently disbarred.

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Suspended lawyer accused of lying at state bar hearing

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