Florida Record

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Orlando attorney suspended twice in three months after failing to pay second mortgage

By Karen Kidd | Aug 28, 2017

Orlando attorney Michael Kevin Rathel has been suspended until further notice following a June 12 Florida Supreme Court order after he was found in contempt for not cooperating in a Florida State Bar investigation, according to a recent state bar report.

Rathel allegedly failed to fully comply with a subpoena for trust accounting records and failed twice to appear despite being subpoenaed, according to a July 31 state bar report that announced the discipline and the state supreme court's order.

Rathel also was ordered to pay the state bar's costs of $1,250. The high court's order was the second suspension handed down against Rathel in less than three months. Earlier this year, Rathel was suspended over allegations that included not paying on a contractually agreed mortgage.

In Florida court orders are not final until after time to file a rehearing motion expires. Filing such a motion would not alter the effective date of the Rathel's suspension.

Rathel was admitted to the bar in Florida on March 31, 2000, according to his profile at the state bar website.

Rathel was suspended from the practice of law in Florida for one year by a state Supreme Court order in March over Rathel's alleged failure to repay a second mortgage contracted with a homeowner in 2005. Rathel purchased a house that year after persuading the seller to hold a second mortgage for $100,000 to make up a shortfall in the amount Rathel was able to finance in a first mortgage, according to a formal complaint filed by the state bar.  

Starting in or about 2010, Rathel also failed to file and pay his personal federal and corporate tax returns in a timely manner, according to the formal complaint. Rathel also failed to timely respond to state bar inquiry, according to the formal complaint.

Rathel was required to pay costs of  $3,304.22, according to the state court's March order.

Rathel has since failed to comply with a state bar subpoena for his accounting records and has twice failed appear to provide his duly noticed sworn statement in the state bar's investigation, according to the bar's petition for contempt that lead to the attorney's second suspension.

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