Aug. 22--A Jacksonville attorney is denying allegations he improperly obtained a loan from a client and submitted a false application for a bank loan.
Attorney G. Ronald Kesinger is facing the accusations after he borrowed $26,000 from a client to cover the remaining cost of buying a house for his daughter and her family.
According to a complaint by the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, Kesinger should have told his client of the possible conflict of interest the loan would pose. He was "representing a client when there is a significant risk that the representation of the client will be materially limited by a personal interest of the lawyer."
Kesinger has represented the client since the 1980s in estate planning and other legal matters. On Sept. 18, 2012, Kesinger was meeting with the client to discuss matters relating to a case when he asked for a $26,000 loan to help pay the remaining balance for the residence. He said he would repay the loan within one year, according to the complaint.
Kesinger did repay the loan, plus interest, in October 2013.
After obtaining the loan, the complaint contends Kesinger was supposed to disclose it to Farmers State Bank and Trust, from which he received a loan for the home purchase. During the application process, all debts and liabilities are supposed to be reported, but the money received from the client was not, according to the complaint. The complaint also said he had a responsibility to inform his client that she could seek the advice of an independent legal counsel.
"I deny the allegations, except I've admitted there is a technical violation by not disclosing in writing certain things that I'm supposed to do when dealing with a client," Kesinger said.
He said the bank did not make a complaint about the loan documents and he does not believe his actions were fraudulent.
"Even the bank officer doesn't believe there is any fraud or misconduct or anything," Kesinger said.
Kesinger said the complaint came as a surprise because the client was not the one who filed it with the state, but rather the client's daughters.
Now that the charges have been filled with the commission, a hearing committee will review the case and decide if the charges are appropriate. If so, the committee would recommend any punishment, such as suspension of his license to practice.
Kesinger has practiced law in Illinois since August 1973.
Samantha McDaniel-Ogletree can be reached at 217-245-6121, ext. 1233, or on Twitter @JCNews_samantha.
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