ORLANDO -- Stemming from a May 24 court-ordered suspension, former Altamonte attorney William Glenn Roy III has been disbarred by the state of Florida for charges related to cocaine possession, using a firearm while under the influence and misappropriating escrow money.
Roy agreed with the decision.
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, prompted by the Florida Bar’s request for suspension, attempted to contact Roy via mail concerning the misappropriation so that he could respond to the suspension. However, the document was returned “Return to Sender.” An attempt to reach Roy at his Florida Bar address was also unsuccessful.
When the legal deadline for a response passed, the court executed the bar’s suggested suspension. The order was given by Florida Chief Justice K. Michael Moore.
The misappropriation charge concerns $125,000 entrusted to Roy. After relinquishing half of the amount to the party involved, Roy appeared to be attempting to abscond with the balance. In an effort to conceal his activities, he is accused of altering bank statements and other documents the IRS had requested to inspect.
The Florida Record received a copy of the complaint that led to Roy’s disbarment. Filed Feb. 24, the report states upon completing the sale of outstanding stock of Sekai Electronics to Sekai Holdings in August 2014, complainant Masakazu Sekine, named trustee of the Sekine family trust, and sellers Lawrence Klementowski, Timothy Dye and Mattias Nilson agreed to entrust $250,000 of the proceeds of the sale to an escrow account handled by Southeast Exchange Services, LLC (SES), a company owned and operated by Roy.
Half of the escrow funds plus interest were turned over to the complainant in February 2015, but the balance was left undistributed.
Attempts by Sekine’s attorney Michael Liuzzi, of McNamara Bejamin LLP in San Diego, and Sekai Holdings’ lawyer Douglas O’Keefe to reach Roy and have the balance forwarded went unanswered until Oct. 28, 2015. On that date, Roy responded to an email by O’Keefe in which O’Keefe gave notification that the Florida Bar Association had been contacted about the incident.
In reply Roy alleges he was out of the country and unable to wire the funds and that he no longer used his previous email address so he had missed prior attempts to contact him. He asked that the matter not be submitted to the bar and promised O’Keefe that upon his return he would wire the allowed for $25,000 minimum “first thing” on Nov. 4.
When that time came with no response from the third generation lawyer, O’Keefe emailed Roy’s father who runs the family law firm. The senior Roy said he would contact his son and O’Keefe agreed to wait 24 hours before notifying the Bar. Again, there was no response from Roy III. At this point, Liuzzi tried one last email to Roy through his father. In the email, Liuzzi stated if the balance remained unpaid by Nov. 27, 2015, he would lodge a complaint with the Bar and “initiate, file, and prosecute any and all appropriate and available legal action.”
Liuzzi went on to allege “[despite] many demands and requests made to you, you and SES have completely and utterly breached and failed to perform your legal, fiduciary, and professional duties and obligations” as set by the escrow agreement signed by all parties in the matter.
The last email the attorneys for the complainants received from Roy was dated Dec. 2, 2015, in which Roy said the escrow account had been “subjected to an erroneous levy by the IRS, having to do with an unrelated matter” and he was waiting for written consent from the government to release the money.
The Florida Record contacted Liuzzi and subsequently learned the funds had been fully restored.
“The full amount of the funds subject to the escrow, were paid to my clients in April 2016, fully satisfying their claim," Liuzzi said. "Accordingly, my clients have had no involvement with Mr. Roy since that time.”
Despite making good on the money, Roy will face prosecution for all the charges previously referenced, after he completes the Florida Lawyers Assistance Program for drug and alcohol treatment. He has also been ordered to pay nearly $4,000 to the Florida Bar for time spent investigating the incident.