LOS ANGELES ATTORNEY ADMITS TO MISAPPROPRIATING $1.1 MILLION

Media Contact: Laura Ernde                           415-538-2283                          laura.ernde@calbar.ca.gov

San Francisco (May 2, 2012) – A Los Angeles attorney accused of misappropriating $1.1 million from 10 clients has agreed to be disbarred, the State Bar announced Wednesday.

In one of the largest misappropriation cases ever handled by the Office of Chief Trial Counsel, Vafa Allan Khoshbin [bar# 165486], 52, had promised clients he could get their first mortgages modified and their second mortgages settled for pennies on the dollar.

The clients gave him money, which was deposited either to his client trust account or to his business account. But the cash disappeared before Khoshbin did any loan modification work or made any payments to banks on his clients’ behalf, according to a stipulation approved Wednesday by the State Bar Court.

One couple, Sharooz and Fariba Arianpour, turned over $357,000 thinking it would be used to settle a second mortgage and a loan they held on a car wash.

Khoshbin will be placed on involuntarily inactive status May 5 until the California Supreme Court acts on the disbarment recommendation. Khoshbin also agreed to pay restitution plus interest of 10 percent per year.

In mitigation, Khoshbin was experiencing family and financial problems. Khoshbin also said he inappropriately surrendered his authority to a non-attorney who was handling finances for the firm, Debt Relief Law Center.

Khoshbin, who was admitted to practice in 1993, also received a public reproval Feb. 13 for failing to follow through with a client’s lawsuit against a mortgage lender and failing to refund $5,000 in attorney fees.

The case was prosecuted by Senior Trial Counsel Suzan J. Anderson.

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The State Bar of California is an administrative arm of the California Supreme Court, serving the public and seeking to improve the justice system for more than 80 years. All lawyers practicing law in California must be members of the State Bar. By April 2012, membership reached 237,000.