IN THE MATTER OF GNOLEBA REMY SERI AN ATTORNEY AT LAW
Argued: October 19, 2017
Review Board District Docket No. XIV-2017-0073E
A. Racz appeared on behalf of the Office of Attorney Ethics.
Respondent appeared pro se.
C. Frost, Chair.
Honorable Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme
Court of New Jersey.
matter was before us on a motion for final discipline filed
by the Office of Attorney Ethics (OAE), pursuant to R.
1:20-13(c)(2). On June 29, 2016, respondent entered a guilty
plea in the United States District Court, Southern District
of New York, to one count of fraud and misuse of visa,
permits, and other documents, in violation of 18
U.S.C. §§ 2 and 1546(a). The OAE
recommended imposition of a two-year prospective suspension.
Respondent requested a shorter period of suspension, or, in
the alternative, that the two-year period of suspension be
imposed retroactive to December 21, 2016, the date on which
the Board of Immigration Appeals suspended him.
reasons set forth below, we determined to grant the motion
for final discipline and impose an eighteen-month prospective
earned admission to the New Jersey bar in 2001 and to the New
York bar in 2002. He has no history of discipline in New
Jersey. On December 21, 2016, as a consequence of his
conviction in federal court, respondent was indefinitely
suspended from the practice of law before the Board of
Immigration Appeals, the Immigrations Courts, and the
Department of Homeland Security.
29, 2016, before the Honorable Alison J. Nathan, U.S.D.J.,
respondent entered a guilty plea to one count of fraud and
misuse of visa, permits, and other documents, contrary to 18
U.S.C. §§ 2 and 1546(a). Respondent
entered his guilty plea pursuant to an Information, thus,
voluntarily waiving his right to an indictment by a grand
jury. Specifically, the Information alleged that respondent,
from October 2012 through April 2015, "submitted
falsified and forged 1-864 Forms in support of applications
for immigration visas and for legal permanent resident
his sparse allocution before the court, respondent admitted
that, "from October 2012 through April 2015, in
Manhattan, I knowingly submitted falsified 1-864 forms in
support of applications for immigration visas." He added
that, "I know what I did was wrong, and I'm very
October 28, 2016, at sentencing, the government requested the
imposition of a ten to sixteen-month prison term, citing, in
aggravation, respondent's trusted status as an attorney;
his abuse of both that trust and his specialized skills,
whereby he wrongfully exploited his access to the
victims' tax records, social security numbers, and other
identifying information; the extended length of time that his
misconduct spanned; and the impact of his conduct on public
faith in the immigration system.
turn, respondent's defense counsel stressed that
respondent"s crime did not result in any negative
financial impact on the victims; that respondent did not
commit the crimes for pecuniary gain; that respondent enjoyed
a reputation for good character, and had, himself, been
granted political asylum in our country after being
imprisoned and tortured; and that respondent's crime had
no impact on the safety and security of our nation, noting
that he did not submit false information about the identities
of the applicants seeking to immigrate, but, rather,
fabricated the applicants' financial support structure by
reusing financial sponsor information entrusted to him in
connection with prior, legitimate immigration applications.
Nathan sentenced respondent to time served, two-years'
supervised release (federal probation), to include a
twelve-month period of home confinement, one hundred
hours' community service, and mandatory fines and
penalties; no restitution was imposed, as the ...