On Wednesday, July 5, 2023, the Supreme Court of the State of New York Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department suspended attorney Vincent Jack Ancona for violating ethical rules.
The case is entitled “In the Matter of Vincent Jack Ancona,” with case no. 2021-03488.
The charges cited New York Rules of Professional Conduct 1.15(a)(d) and 8.4(h).
The suspension against the respondent came after a pattern of professional misconduct, including misappropriation of funds from the attorney trust account, failure to maintain required bookkeeping records, and engaging in conduct that adversely reflected his fitness as a lawyer. During his solo practice spanning 21 years, Ancona failed to keep accurate records of funds deposited and withdrawn from the escrow account, resulting in ethical violations.
The filing states:
“The suspension came after a pattern of professional misconduct, including misappropriation of funds from the attorney trust account, failure to maintain required bookkeeping records, and engaging in conduct that adversely reflected on his fitness as a lawyer. During his solo practice spanning 21 years, Ancona failed to keep accurate records of funds deposited and withdrawn from the escrow account, resulting in ethical violations. The court ordered him to comply with rules governing suspended attorneys and apply for reinstatement no earlier than January 5, 2025, while also requiring him to cease practicing law and appearing as an attorney during the suspension period.”
The filing continues:
“Charge two alleges that the respondent misappropriated funds entrusted to him as a fiduciary, in violation of rule 1.15(a) of the Rules of Professional Conduct as follows: As of May 4, 2017, the respondent was required to have $25,116.80 on deposit in the escrow account in connection with the Sheikh matter for the purpose of paying a Medicaid lien on his client’s behalf. As of June 6, 2017, the $25,116.80 Medicaid lien had not been paid on Sheikh’s behalf. On June 6, 2017, the balance in the escrow account was $21,646.51, which was $3,470.29 less than the amount the respondent was required to maintain in connection with the Sheikh matter.”
The filing further states:
“Charge three alleges that the respondent failed to make or maintain required bookkeeping records for the escrow account, in violation of rule 1.15(d) of the Rules of Professional Conduct as follows: From the opening of the escrow account through and including all times relevant herein, the respondent (1) failed to maintain records of all deposits and withdrawals from the escrow account, showing the date, source, and description of each item deposited, and the date, payee, and purpose of each withdrawal or disbursement; and (2) failed to maintain a contemporaneous ledger book or similar record of all transactions in the escrow account, showing the source of all funds deposited into it, the names of all persons for whom the funds are or were held, the amount of such funds, the description and amounts, and the names of all persons to whom such funds were disbursed.”
The Supreme Court of New York considered the respondent’s admission to all charges during the hearing and the presented evidence. The court concluded that the Special Referee appropriately upheld all the charges.
The Disposition states:
“ORDERED that the Grievance Committee’s motion to confirm the Special Referee’s report is granted, and it is further, ORDERED that the respondent, Vincent Jack Ancona, is suspended from the practice of law for a period of two years, commencing August 5, 2023, and continuing until further order of this Court. The respondent shall not apply for reinstatement earlier than January 5, 2025.”
Mr. Ancona attended St. John’s University, graduating in 1998. He is a lawyer in Mineola, New York. He was licensed in New York. His info can be found on martindale.com.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.