Attorney & Surgeon (Husband & Wife) Convicted of Income Tax Fraud--Both Maintain Licenses to Practice
On January 17, 2019, a Manhattan attorney, Marla Stein, who was convicted of income tax fraud following a guilty plea, was declared to have paid for her crime and will not be disbarred, as per the decision of the Appellate Division, Second Department. This attorney's husband, a vascular surgeon named Dr. Jeffrey Stein, was also allowed to maintain his medical license, despite his conviction of tax fraud. Both husband (surgeon) and wife (attorney) had pleaded guilty to providing IRS auditors with phony documents during an audit to support their respective fraudulent claims of employee expense deductions of over $300,000 in the aggregate, to reduce their tax liability.
Both the Attorney Grievance Committee and the Office of Professional Medical Conduct recommended leniency to these two professionals, given their decades long prior exemplary record, their cooperation with authorities, remorsefulness and disgorgement of funds for the taxes due. It was also noted according to a New York Law Journal report that Ms. Stein's attorney successfully argued that the "federal crime was not the equivalent of any state law felony, and that, therefore, she couldn't be automatically disbarred as required under state Judiciary Law."