Miami attorney suspended, must pay nearly $22,000 in mishandled real estate transaction

By Karen Kidd | Aug 3, 2018

TALLAHASSEE (Florida Record) — Miami attorney Guillermo Perez has been suspended and ordered to pay more than $20,000 in costs following a June 7 Florida Supreme Court order regarding fraud allegations, according to a recent announcement by The Florida Bar.

"Perez committed fraud while acting as the closing agent in a commercial real estate transaction," the state bar said in its July 31 announcement of the discipline and the Supreme Court's order.

In its two-page order, the state high court approved the uncontested referee's amended report filed in the matter before suspending Perez for 18 months and ordered him to pay about $21,902 in costs.

Perez's suspension was effective 30 days from the date of the court's order to allow him time to close his practice and protect his existing clients' interests, according to the high court's order.

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

Perez was admitted to the bar in Florida on July 24, 2000, according to his profile at the state bar website. No prior discipline before the state bar is listed on Perez's state bar profile.

In an earlier order handed down in October, the state Supreme Court rejected Perez's argument that he had relied on the advice of others in the real estate transaction and found him guilty of violating professional conduct rules regarding dishonesty, fraud, deceit and misrepresentation. 

"The referee found that all of the parties agree the HUD-1 statement prepared and signed by [Perez], misrepresented the amount of cash on hand as $3 million in cash when the amount of cash on hand was only $1.5 million," the court said in its October order.

"Moreover, [the] respondent acknowledged that he knowingly provided false information on the HUD-1 statement but provided it to the bank anyway. As a defense, respondent argues that the loan officer directed him to falsify the information on the HUD-1 statement. However, attorneys have an obligation to conduct their actions independently of others and claiming that the attorney acted at the direction of another individual is not a defense to misrepresentation."

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