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Queens DA charges pair with posing as attorneys

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Under separate complaints, the two men — Marion Marable, 67, of South...

By Chris Fuchs

The Queens district attorney announced earlier this month the arrest of two disbarred lawyers from Queens, charging them in unrelated cases with practicing law without a license.

Under separate complaints, the two men — Marion Marable, 67, of South Ozone Park, and Carl Mione, 68, of Flushing — were charged with passing themselves off as attorneys to clients looking to purchase real estate in Queens and Manhattan, said Richard Brown, the Queens district attorney.

Both incidents happened last year, the first in late April, according to a complaint filed by the district attorney. In that case, Marable brokered a contract between a man who put his Laurelton house up for sale and a woman, who wanted to buy it, the complaint said. The man paid Marable a retainer fee, and the woman gave him a down payment to put into an escrow account. Both lost their money, the complaint said.

Marable was arrested on Feb. 6 and charged with practicing law while being disbarred, grand larceny and offering a false instrument for filing. He faces up to seven years in prison if convicted, said Mary de Bourbon, a spokeswoman for the district attorney.

In the other incident in November, a woman who wanted to sell a piece of property in Manhattan retained Mione as her attorney, according to the complaint. The lawyer for the prospective buyers, however, conducted a background check on Mione and alerted the authorities after discovering that he had been disbarred, the complaint said.

Mione, who was arrested in late January, was charged only with practicing law while being disbarred, she said. If convicted, he could serve up to one year in prison.

Both men were released without bail.

In a phone interview earlier in February, Clarence Small, 64, who wanted to sell his Laurelton house, said he had hired Marable last spring after someone recommended him. Marable, who was disbarred in 1997 for commingling escrow funds, met Small at his house in Jamaica, he said, where Small paid him $350 as a retainer fee, the complaint said.

That same day, Marable brought a contract with him for Small to sign, he said, showing him a $10,000 check, a down payment made out by the buyer, identified in the complaint as Yasmin Patterson. Small said he was selling his house for $162,000.

In the late summer, however, Marable phoned Small to tell him that Patterson had backed out of the agreement, Small said, even though Marable had cashed her check, the complaint said. Marable then drew up a new contract entered into by a real-estate speculator, DGA Corp. of Elmhurst, the complaint said, and met Small at a Dunkin Donuts where he signed it.

But in late October, Small said, he received a phone call from DGA Corp. telling him that they could not sell his house because there was a lien on it. “They kept calling me,” he said. “They would tell me, ‘Your lawyers are crooks.’”

Although DGA Corp. is listed, a receptionist in its payroll division said the facility in Elmhurst is a doctor’s office. But she did say that they take messages for DGA Corp., but declined to offer further details. Phone messages left with DGA were not returned by presstime Tuesday night.

Trying to get her money back, Patterson filed a complaint last winter against Small in Civil Court in Queens, attempting to recoup from him the $10,000 check she made out to Marable. “I had asked him numerous times if he paid back Patterson,” he said, referring to the buyer. “And every time, he would go off on another subject.”

Marable, who was named as Small’s attorney in the civil complaint, was scheduled to appear in court on several occasions to represent him but never did, the complaint said. With suspicions mounting, Small said he had called the Office of Court Administration to inquire about Marable and learned from them that he was not licensed to practice law in New York state.

“So I went to my attorney, who I usually use, and I went to the DA’s office in January,” Small said. “Next time I use an attorney, I’ll call the bar association.”

Marable did not return several messages left on his machine seeking comment.

In the other case being prosecuted by the district attorney’s office, Mione, a member of the bar for 40 years before he lost his license in 1995, held himself out as an attorney for a woman who wanted to sell a lot on Avenue C in Manhattan, the complaint said.

In November, according to the complaint, Mione sent a copy of a contract to an attorney representing two prospective buyers and shortly thereafter had a phone conversation with him in which he identified himself as a practicing attorney in New York state.

In that contract, Mione proposed that the buyers make a $35,000 deposit on the land, which was to be held in an attorney’s escrow account, the complaint said. Mione and the buyers’ attorney had several conversations, discussing the contract, but no funds were ever exchanged, the complaint said.

In a phone interview Friday, Mione brushed aside the charges brought against him, writing them off as the work of two attorneys who were bent on maligning his reputation.

“I don’t know what the hell they were doing,” he said. “I was working for a broker. I refused them a deal. They got mad and ganged up on me.”

Mione said he had been working for the broker for a year but declined to give the broker’s name or where he is based. In addition, Mione took issue with the claim in the criminal complaint that he had been disbarred, saying that he had resigned instead. According to the complaint, Mione had mishandled $750,000 of an estate of which he said he was the executor. As a result, his law license was revoked.

Mione declined to provide the name of his attorney, but said he believed the charges against him would be dropped.

Reach reporter Chris Fuchs by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 156.

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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