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In re Mocco

Decided: January 12, 1978.

IN THE MATTER OF PETER M. MOCCO, AN ATTORNEY AT LAW


For suspension for one year -- Chief Justice Hughes and Justices Mountain, Sullivan, Pashman, Clifford, Schreiber and Handler. Opposed -- None.

Per Curiam

[75 NJ Page 313] The Hudson County Ethics Committee filed a presentment against Peter M. Mocco, a member of the bar of this State, finding him in violation of DR 1-102(A)(4) and (5) in that he did:

(a) Misrepresent to a representative of Mobil Oil that he was a partner in a certain gas station to obtain an easing of credit.

(b) Misrepresent to the Internal Revenue Service on form "Election by Small Business Corporation" that he was a shareholder (10 shares) of Petro Enterprises.

(c) Sign the names of Richard Carrero,*fn1 President, and Jack Duffy, Secretary, to a mortgage, without authorization and actual knowledge that such persons held these positions.

(d) Sign Joseph Mocco's name (his brother) as a Notary Public on an acknowledgment on a Mortgage Note.

(e) Prepare a New Jersey Sales and Use Tax Form to be signed by Joseph Guadara, President, when in fact he knew that Mr. Guadara was not president of Petro Enterprises.

We have reviewed the record and the exhibits and find that the Committee's findings are overwhelmingly supported by the evidence.

All of the respondent's difficulties arose out of his relationship with a Robert Overman. Subsequent to the respondent's admission to the bar in 1967, he became extremely active in municipal politics in the Township of North Bergen. In the course of that activity he met Robert Overman and during a particular election in 1969 in which respondent was a candidate, the two worked arduously and closely with each other. After the election, in which the respondent was defeated, Overman continued to devote much time and effort to the respondent's political activities and made his (Overman's) home available for those purposes.

In the Spring of 1970 Overman acquired a gasoline service station in Hawthorne, New Jersey. In June 1970 the respondent formed, on behalf of Overman, a corporation, known as Petro Enterprises, to own and operate that business. At that time Overman was having financial difficulties with the Mobil Oil Corporation which was furnishing gasoline to the service station. When Mobil threatened to terminate deliveries and close the station down, respondent assured the Mobil representative: "Look, you don't have to worry. You'll

be paid. Bob Overman's my partner, and I assure you you'll get paid." Mobil relied on these representations and continued to deliver gasoline to the station. However, respondent was not and had never been Overman's partner.

A few days after this misrepresentation the respondent prepared for submission to the Internal Revenue Service form 2553, in which Petro Enterprises elected in accordance with I.R.C. ยง 1372(a), subchapter S, not to be subject to corporate income taxes. All stockholders must consent in order to qualify the corporation under the Internal Revenue Code. Respondent listed on the form Overman and himself as the only stockholders, showing each owning 10 shares of the 20 shares of issued and outstanding capital stock. He signed and verified on the form that "[u]nder penalties of perjury I declare that this election is duly authorized and that the statements made herein are to the best of my knowledge and belief correct and complete statements." Attached to the subchapter S form was a resolution of the shareholders affirming that Petro Enterprises was qualified. The resolution was signed by Overman and respondent -- next to each name being shown only "10 shares". Respondent mailed the form to the Internal Revenue ...


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