On Thursday, September 28, 2023, attorney Michael Todd Hogan was permanently disbarred by the Kentucky Supreme Court for violating rules of professional conduct related to criminal financial conduct during his time as the Lawrence County Attorney.
The case is entitled “Kentucky Bar Association v. Michael Todd Hogan,” case no. 2023-SC-0202-KB.
Hogan, who was admitted to the bar in 1994, pled guilty in March 2022 to federal charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and federal program fraud. The wire fraud charge stemmed from dozens of improper bonus payments totaling over $350,000 that Hogan made from 2013 to 2020 to his wife Joy Hogan from a delinquent tax account he controlled. Hogan admitted in his plea agreement that he was the organizer of the wire fraud scheme.
The federal program fraud involved Hogan overbilling the Lawrence County Child Support Enforcement Office for hours worked as their contracted attorney. From 2015-2020, Hogan was billed for working over 65 hours per month on average without actually working all those hours, fraudulently obtaining over $5,000.
In September 2022, Hogan was sentenced to 42 months in prison and ordered to pay nearly $600,000 in restitution, including $365,550 to the County Attorney’s Office and $232,127 to the Child Support Enforcement Office.
The Kentucky Bar Association brought disciplinary charges against Hogan for violating Rule 8.4(b), which prohibits criminal acts reflecting adversely on a lawyer’s honesty and fitness. After being personally served with the charges, Hogan failed to respond, resulting in a default judgment.
Accordingly, the Kentucky Supreme Court permanently disbarred Hogan and emphasized in its Opinion and Order that Hogan’s position as an elected official and his theft of public funds for personal gain were aggravating factors. The Court also cited his substantial experience practicing law, lack of remorse, and failure to participate in the disciplinary process.
As part of Hogan’s disbarment, he must notify all courts and clients of his inability to represent them and cease any advertising. He was also ordered to reimburse over $500 in costs to the Bar Association.
Hogan was previously suspended in March 2022 after his guilty pleas. He also received a private admonition in April 2022 for lack of diligence and failing to communicate with a client. His permanent disbarment took effect immediately upon the Supreme Court’s order.
According to his LinkedIn page, Mr. Hogan had been practicing as an attorney at Hogan and Derifield in Louisa, Kentucky prior to the disbarment. He attended Salmon P. Chase College of Law. Hogan acquired his law license in Kentucky in 1994.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.