A Prince George’s County Attorney was suspended indefinitely by the Maryland Court of Appeals, finding that Gregory Milton violated several rules of professional conduct.
Milton was found to have withdrawn cash from his attorney trust account and then not complying with investigation requests from the Maryland Attorney Grievance Commission. Milton, who was admitted to the Maryland bar in 2006, maintained a solo practice as a litigation attorney.
The Attorney Grievance Commission received an alert notice about a possible overdraft from his attorney trust account with Capital One Bank in August 2017, according to Monday’s opinion by Judge Glenn T. Harrell Jr., sitting by special assignment.
In response, the office of Bar Counsel Lydia Lawless requested that Milton submit client ledgers, deposit slips, cancelled checks and monthly bank statements for May 2017 through July 2017, most of which Milton did not provide, Harrell wrote.
Milton submitted a select few transaction statements from his trust account, according to the opinion, but nothing else. Milton also denied responsibility for the overdraft notification, saying it was a result of “irregularities” by Capital One Bank.
In those bank statements Milton submitted were seven “customer withdrawals,” which totaled $4,050 and ranged from $200 to $1,000 each between May and July 2017.
Bar Counsel asked multiple times for the additional financial documents, but Milton did not submit them, claiming investigation was unnecessary because the overdraft notice was the bank’s fault, according to the opinion. In December 2017, Bar Counsel informed Milton that it would subpoena the records from Capital One Bank.
Milton did not respond, but he filed a petition to quash the subpoena in Prince George’s County Circuit Court in January 2018, according to the opinion. That petition was denied one month later, before Milton submitted an amended petition that claimed that the Bar Counsel’s investigation was based on “pure supposition,” Harrell wrote. That motion was also denied.
Bar Counsel received the subpoenaed trust account records in March 2018, but Milton never responded to letters requesting copies of his client ledgers, according to the opinion. In those letters were a list of “specific and suspect trust account transactions” that Bar Counsel asked Milton to identify.
In an interview, Milton denied making cash withdrawals, saying that the bank transactions were him moving funds into a separate business bank account.
Milton is quoted in the opinion, saying that because Capital One Bank does not have “transfer tickets,” transfers appear as cash withdrawals in documents.
Harrell responds in the opinion by saying that other bank statements identify some transactions as “ACH Withdrawal E*TRADE TRNSFR,” and that others are labeled as “Wire transfer.”
“Based on the record before her, it was not clearly erroneous that the hearing judge found that the ‘customer withdrawals’ were cash withdrawals,” Harrell wrote.
In her ruling, Circuit Court Judge Judy L. Woodall, who served as the trial judge, found that Milton violated Maryland Attorneys’ Rules of Professional Conduct dealing with maintaining attorney trust account funds, responding to disciplinary matters, not making cash withdrawals from an attorney trust account, and others.
Lawless declined to comment on the indefinite suspension.