Orlando attorney reprimanded for alleged failure to supervise bookkeeper

By Karen Kidd | Feb 4, 2019

TALLAHASSEE — Orlando attorney Richard Costin Mendoza has been publicly reprimanded following a Nov. 8 Florida Supreme Court order over allegations he failed to properly supervise an employee, according to a recent announcement by The Florida Bar.

"Mendoza failed to properly supervise his bookkeeper, resulting in a check being returned due to insufficient funds in the trust account," the state bar said in its Jan. 31 announcement of the discipline and the Supreme Court's order. "During the audit period, Mendoza also commingled his personal funds with client trust funds and failed to maintain his trust account in minimal compliance with bar rules."

In its two-page order, the state Supreme Court also placed Mendoza on two years' conditional probation and ordered him to pay almost $2,514 in costs.

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 Mendoza's reprimand and probation.

Mendoza was admitted to the bar in Florida on June 29, 2007, according to his profile at the state bar website. No prior discipline before the state bar is listed on Mendoza's state bar profile.

The check drawn on Mendoza's trust account bounced in May 2018. The state bar began its investigation, including a compliance audit of Mendoza's trust account, shortly after receiving the insufficient funds notices from the bank, according to the consent judgment filed with the court. The consent judgment also includes Mendoza's conditional guilty plea.

Mendoza waived his right to have the matter considered by a grievance committee and stipulated to probable cause in the case, according to the consent judgment.

Mendoza is required to attend the state bar's next scheduled trust accounting workshop and retain certified public accountant approved by the state bar to review his trust account records as part of the conditions of his probation, according to the consent judgment. Other conditions include providing quarterly statement provided by the CPA for the state bar to review.

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