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In re Anise

Supreme Court of New Jersey

April 5, 2018

IN THE MATTER OP MAGDY F. ANISE AN ATTORNEY AT LAW

          Argued: January 18, 2018

         District Docket No. XIV-2015-0389E

          Eugene A. Racz appeared on behalf of the Office of Attorney Ethics.

          Respondent's counsel waived appearance for oral argument.

          Ellen A. Brodsky Chief Counsel

          DECISION

          BOARD BRUCE W. CLARK, VICE-CHAIR.

         To the Honorable Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

         This matter was before us on a motion for final discipline filed by the Office of Attorney Ethics (OAE), pursuant to R: 1:20-13, following respondent's guilty plea in the United States District Court, District of New Jersey (DNJ), to having violated 31 U.S.C. § 5324(a)(1) (for purpose of evading reporting requirements, cause a bank to fail to file a required report). The OAE recommends a one-year suspension. Respondent agrees with that recommendation. For the reasons stated below, we determine to impose a six-month suspension.

         Respondent was admitted to the New Jersey bar in 1987. On May 14, 2013, he was placed on disability inactive status. He was reinstated to active status on August 27, 2017.

         On January 10, 1992, respondent received a reprimand for having violated RPC 7.3(b)(1) (improper solicitation of a client). Specifically, respondent had sent a solicitation letter to the father of a passenger killed in the Pan Am flight 103 disaster, in Lockerbie, Scotland. In re Anise, 126 N.J. 448 (1992).

         * * *

         On May 7, 2015, a grand jury for the DNJ returned a two-count indictment against respondent. Count one, to which he pleaded guilty, charged that respondent caused banks where he held accounts to fail to file a currency transaction report (CTR), in violation of 31 U.S.C. § 5324(a)(1). Count two charged respondent with "structuring" multiple bank deposits in increments under $10, 000 to avoid the federal reporting requirements, in violation of 31 U.S.C. § 5324(a)(3).[1]

         On March 15, 2016, before the Hon. William H. Walls, Senior U.S. District Judge, respondent pleaded guilty to count two of the indictment. At the sentencing hearing on January 24, 2017, however, the Assistant U.S. Attorney and respondent's counsel agreed that the plea entry was erroneous and that respondent had pleaded guilty to count one of the indictment, a violation of 31 U.S.C. § 5324(a)(1). During the plea hearing, respondent contended that the amount of funds involved in the "structuring" misconduct was less than $200, 000 and that this misconduct was not part of a pattern of unlawful activity involving more than $100, 000 in a twelve-month period. Specifically, respondent made multiple deposits of less than $10, 000 each, totaling almost $200, 000, at three different banks, so that the banks would not file the requisite CTRs.

         On January 24, 2017, Judge Walls sentenced respondent to four years' probation, including seven months of home confinement. The judge also imposed a $2, 000 fine and a $100 assessment. In addition, respondent agreed to forfeit $200, 000 to the United States Treasury. Respondent explained that he had structured his deposits, not in an effort to hide any wrongdoing, but because he "didn't want his business made more public than it had to be." Specifically, from 1990 to about 2011, he purchased gold by the ounce, mainly as investments for his children's college fund. Respondent averred ...


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