TALLAHASSEE -- The Florida Supreme Court ruled in June to permanently disbar attorney Cory Matthew Meltzer after he was brought up on several disciplinary charges.
Meltzer, a graduate of Georgetown University’s school of law, was admitted to the Florida Bar Association in 2007 and has been an associate level lawyer at the Personal Injury & Accident Law Center in Boca Raton.
The charges against Meltzer are as follows: one count failure to respond to a Bar inquiry, three counts allegations of improper solicitation, one count failure to distribute settlement proceeds and one charge of patient brokering, which is considered a fraudulent practice and third-degree felony. Meltzer is expected to enter a plea of guilty to the patient brokering charges.
Meltzer was arrested as part of an undercover operation that occurred in late 2014. The investigation was conducted by the Florida Department of Financial Services’ division of insurance fraud and led to the arrest of several individuals. The operation targeted personal injury attorneys like Meltzer, as well as accident recovery centers in the area. The clinics would pay attorneys to direct their clients to clinics under the guise of “marketing,” which is illegal. The clients would sometimes be told what injuries to complain about in order for the clinics to bill insurance companies. In some instances, the clinics would bill for services that were never performed on patients.
Meltzer could face jail time for his guilty plea. The charges against him, brought up on Oct. 30, 2014, also include a first-degree misdemeanor count of attempted solicitation of motor vehicle accident victims.
The disciplinary action taken by the Florida Bar results from Rule 4-8.4(b) of the rules regulating the Florida Bar. The section states that “a lawyer shall not commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects.” Meltzer will be permanently disbarred effective 30 days from the ruling, so he can close his firm and protect any remaining clientele.
The ruling also requires Meltzer to pay all court costs totaling in $1,280, as well as any incurred interest. The fee cannot be discharged even if bankruptcy is filed. The attorney also will be required to give to the clients’ security fund (CSF) any monies claimed as a result of his misconduct. Meltzer also will need to submit a financial affidavit to the Bar within 30 days and immediately cease to handle any client funds.
Meltzer will need to inform the Bar of any changes in his mailing or physical address for the next two years. The disbarment ruling will need to be signed into order by the Florida Bar's board of governors and the Supreme Court of Florida before it can officially be implemented.
All court documents can be found at www.floridabar.org.