Peter Dirk Nansen, a member of the
So Nansen -- whose letterheads proclaimed expertise in "Wealth Preservation Strategies" -- had been called upon to help the woman's regular attorney,
She reluctantly agreed to give him an advance on future fees, according to the bar association. She signed the check and wrote "advance" on the memo line. But weeks later Nansen told Dolan it had been a
Most lawyers or a real estate agent, Nansen said, would have taken a much larger cut. To this day he maintains it had been a bonus, and that the client later changed her mind and wanted her money back.
"They make me out like I'm some bad guy taking advantage of little old ladies," Nansen told a reporter
He put the money in his personal checking account, rather than a separate client trust account. Once Dolan learned Nansen had not been forthright about the "bonus," he wrote a letter demanding Nansen to no longer communicate with the client unless he got approval from Dolan.
Before the end of the summer, Nansen sent the client a letter -- without telling Dolan -- promising to refund some fees she'd paid in advance. In the same letter he pitched an investment opportunity, with the potential to essentially double her money every couple of years.
According to the state bar, over the next four years Nansen made no effort to pay back the
The state bar labeled Nansen's account of the incident as "incredible and fictionalized," and in "direct opposition of the credible version of events." He was found unfit to be a lawyer and disbarred effective
Nansen had been reprimanded, but not suspended, by the state's bar association in 2012 for ethical breaches in two cases:
- One of his clients had been seeking guardianship over her boyfriend. Nansen knew the boyfriend had a lawyer, too, but he spoke with the man outside of the lawyer's presence 11 times, a violation of legal ethics. Nansen convinced him he was "trying to help him," according to the state bar. The man signed papers to irrevocably transfer his property into a trust for the girlfriend, without having a chance to consult his own lawyer.
- A client gave Nansen
Nansen said he hasn't been practicing law full time for several years. He's listed as a yacht broker for
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