Fort Pierce attorney suspended for not paying federal income taxes

By Karen Kidd | Nov 2, 2018

TALLAHASSEE — Fort Pierce attorney John Kevin Griffin has been suspended following an Sept. 6 Florida Supreme Court order over allegations arising from issues with his federal income taxes, according to a recent announcement by The Florida Bar.

"Griffin failed to file and pay his federal income taxes over a period of several years resulting in tax liens being filed against him," the state bar said in its Oct. 31 announcement of the discipline and the Supreme Court's order. "His inability to pay his federal income taxes was due solely to financial issues. There was no evidence of fraud or intent to evade his tax obligations."

In its two-page order, the high court approved the uncontested referee's report filed in the matter suspending Griffin for 91 days and ordered him to pay almost $1,445 in costs.

Griffin's suspension was effective 30 days from the date of the court's order to allow 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 Griffin's suspension.

Griffin was admitted to the bar in Florida on June 26, 1990, according to his profile at the state bar website.

Griffin admitted he failed to timely file his personal federal income tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service from 2008 to 2011 and from 2013 to 2015, according to the consent judgment filed with the court. The consent judgment also includes Griffin's conditional guilty plea.

Griffin did file timely requests for extensions but did not pay his taxes in those years and in September 2015 the IRS filed a notice of federal tax lien against him in September 2015 for almost $57,000, according to the consent judgment.

Griffin's "tax collection matter has been closed by the Internal Revenue Service due to [Griffin]'s inability to pay the money due to his financial situation," the consent judgment said.

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