A former Winnipeg lawyer who was disbarred after misappropriating clients’ funds is now facing criminal charges.
David Bradley is facing eight counts in total, including attempting to obstruct justice, fraud, and theft. Court records show the alleged offences happened over a decade, between January 2006 and July 2016.
In a Winnipeg courtroom Tuesday his charges were remanded to October. He has not yet entered a plea, but is presumed innocent.
Contacted by CBC News earlier this month, Bradley declined to comment.
When Bradley was disbarred by the Law Society of Manitoba in February 2016, that hearing was told Bradley lied to clients and misappropriated funds. He pleaded guilty to the law society charges and consented to disbarment.
It’s not clear whether the criminal charges relate to any of the same clients who had filed complaints with the law society. Those allegations pertained to about nine sets of clients.
At the time of that hearing, the panel chair found Bradley misappropriated clients’ funds, not to “put in his pocket” but to cover up his actions. As a result, some of Bradley’s clients had either suffered losses or serious inconvenience.
Counsel for the law society, Rocky Kravetsky, said that on several occasions Bradley didn’t inform clients he’d received money on their behalf, and that he transferred money from one client to another in attempts to cover up what he’d done wrong.
Bradley’s lawyer told the discipline hearing his client had expressed deep regret for the negative impact on clients.
The law society operates a Professional Liability Claims Fund to compensate clients for losses caused by errors or omissions by a lawyer.
Four of Bradley’s clients made claims to the fund, said the law society’s director of regulation Leah Kosokowsky.
That led to two clients being paid a total of $250,000, she said in an email. One additional claim was denied and in another case, the claimants chose not to pursue the matter further.
Last February, CBC analyzed data from the law society showing 10 Manitoba lawyers — including Bradley — had been disbarred over a six-year period for misappropriating collectively nearly $2 million in clients’ money, yet none of the lawyers had faced criminal charges.
Bradley is the only one of the 10 to face charges.