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Lawyer found guilty

June 1, 2012 5:15 am

Lawyer Haroon Ali Shah has been found guilty of nine counts brought against him by the Chief Registrar.

Independent Legal Services Commissioner Paul Madigan has found Shah guilty of seven counts of professional misconduct and two counts of unsatisfactory professional misconduct.

Shah was hired in the 1980s – to process a third party insurance claim for Sashi Lata whose husband died in a road accident.

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In 2001, Tower Insurance finally paid out $70,000, but Shah didn’t tell his clients until November 2003.

Lata’s father had been visiting Shah’s office, calling and enquiring for fourteen years about the money.

After being threatened with complaints to the Prime Minister’s Office and the DPP, Shah paid out fifty thousand dollars – deducting $20,000 as legal fees.

The Commission found Shah had no permission to take any fee, failed to keep a proper trust account and failed to keep proper records of transactions.

False records showed payments were also shown to the Fiji Law society.

A special audit found Shah may have used the money for unauthorised purposes even though it was held in trust for Sashi Lata.

A sentence is yet to be delivered.

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