On Monday, July 10, 2023, a complaint was filed before the Hearing Board of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission against Jan R. Kowalski, a licensed attorney in Illinois. The complaint was filed by Jerome Larkin, the Administrator of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, through his attorney, Melissa A. Smart, pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 761.

The case is entitled “In the matter of Jan R. Kowalski” with case no. 2023PR00047.

The charges cited Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct 8.4(b) and 8.4(c) which states:

Committed criminal acts that reflect adversely on her honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer in other respects.

Conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.

The Rules of Professional Conduct can be found here.

The complaint alleges that Kowalski has engaged in conduct that subjects her to discipline pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 770. The complaint specifically states that Kowalski and her brother, Robert Michael Kowalski, were charged by way of a criminal complaint in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, with the offense of bankruptcy fraud. The complaint further states that Kowalski and her brother were charged with concealing assets from a bankruptcy trustee, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 152(1).

The complaint also alleges that Kowalski and her brother filed statements and schedules in docket number 18-09130 which intentionally omitted their interests in at least approximately $567,200 in property belonging to their bankruptcy estate, including cash and cash equivalents, interests in corporate entities and trusts, causes of action, interests in real estate, and rents and the rights to collect rents.

The complaint states that Kowalski utilized her trust account to conceal funds that were part of her brother’s bankruptcy estate and to engage in transactions with funds which were property of that bankruptcy estate for the purpose of concealing her brother’s interest in those funds and in property acquired with those concealed funds.

The complaint also alleges that Kowalski and her brother deposited cashier’s checks and rental income checks into Kowalski’s trust account instead of tendering the checks to the trustee, and used those funds to engage in transactions, including the purchase of property, that went to the benefit of Kowalski’s brother. The complaint states that Kowalski and her brother engaged in these actions in furtherance of their scheme to obstruct, misrepresent, conceal, and hide property that belonged to her brother’s bankruptcy estate from his creditors and the trustee.

The complaint concludes by stating that Kowalski’s actions constitute a violation of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct, which states that it is professional misconduct for a lawyer to engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation. The complaint also alleges that Kowalski’s actions demonstrate a lack of fitness to practice law and that her conduct tends to defeat the administration of justice and bring the courts and the legal profession into disrepute.

The Administrator requested that this matter be assigned to a panel of the Hearing Board and that a hearing be conducted in accordance with Supreme Court Rule 761(d). The Administrator further requested that the panel make findings of fact, conclusions of law, and a recommendation for disciplinary action, as appropriate.

Ms. Kowalski practices in Chicago, Illinois. She is licensed in Illinois. Her info can be found on avvo.com.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.