FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 10, 2018
Contact: Alberto Rodriguez
Mesa Attorney Vincent J. Bautista Disbarred for Money Laundering
PHOENIX – July 10, 2018 – Attorney Vincent J. Bautista of Mesa has consented to disbarment after he chose not to contest the State Bar’s Complaint alleging that while working as a trust officer at a bank, he removed funds from various client trusts and placed them in the account of an entity that he controlled.
Bautista worked for First International Bank as a trust account officer who was responsible for administering client trust accounts. The bank grew concerned over expenditures from trust accounts he was trustee for, specifically payments made to Arizona Trust Network, an entity registered under Bautista’s name and controlled by him.
The bank addressed their concern with him and he said the payments totaling $21,680 were for outside legal work to assist him in carrying out his duties as a trustee. Bautista claimed the legal work was completed by a former law school classmate. It was found that no client had asked for the asserted legal work and that his classmate did not perform any of it.
Adding to the false claims, Bautista fraudulently prepared, signed, and backdated engagement letters in an effort to legitimize the work he alleged was performed. During that time, he was terminated from First International Bank.
In August 2016, he urged a trust beneficiary to invest $150,000 in trust funds into Net Ventures, LLC, another entity owned by Bautista. When the Bank learned of the investment, it requested he repay the trust. However, he was unable to repay the investor because he no longer had the funds, leaving First International Bank to step in and pay the client back in full.
According to the bank, all clients who were affected by Bautista's misconduct were made whole.
Vincent J. Bautista’s disbarment was effective June 12, 2018. He was ordered to pay $1,460 for all costs and expenses incurred by the State Bar of Arizona during its investigation.
Consumers may report attorney misconduct by calling the State Bar of Arizona Attorney/Consumer Assistance Program (A/CAP) hotline at 602.340.7280.
About the State Bar
The State Bar of Arizona is a non-profit organization that operates under the supervision of the Arizona Supreme Court. The Bar includes approximately 24,500 attorneys and provides education and development programs for the legal profession and the public. Since 1933 the Bar and its members have been committed to serving the public by making sure the voices of all people in Arizona are heard in our justice system.
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