Davie attorney George Jay Blutstein, practicing in Florida for about 60 years, has been disbarred following a Nov. 2 Florida Supreme Court order over allegations he misappropriated client funds.
Blutstein was ordered to pay $100,000 in restitution and about $1,820 in costs, according to the high court's two-page order. Blutstein already was suspended, so his disbarment was effective immediately, according to the court order.
The Florida State Bar announced the discipline and the Supreme Court's order Dec. 28. In Florida, court orders are not final until time to file a rehearing motion expires.
Blutstein was admitted to the bar in Florida on Oct. 8, 1957, according to his profile at the state bar website.
Blutstein's client entrusted more than $300,000 to him in 1998 and gave instructions to make several disbursements in property tax payments, according to the formal complaint filed with the court by the Florida State Bar. When the client met with Blutstein in August 2016 and inquired about her remaining trust funds, Blutstein "confessed that he had taken all the money entrusted to him and had spent it," the formal complaint said. "He further stated that he was unable to reimburse her for the monies he had taken."
Blutstein's client filed a grievance with the state bar the same month alleging her attorney had misappropriated of her trust funds, according to the complaint.
In his response to her allegations the following month, Blutstein admitted that the 'gist' of his client's complaint was correct, that he distributed funds to third parties as his client had instructed and misappropriated the rest, according to the formal complaint. Blutstein said he did so because "business died at one point" and as he had no money, he dipped into his client's trust fund, the formal complaint said.
During the state bar's investigation, an auditor found Blutstein had failed to maintain the minimum trust account records and to follow required trust account procedures and said the longtime attorney was not in compliance with state bar rules governing trust accounts, according to the formal complaint.
The state supreme court suspended Blutstein in January 2017.