A disbarred Edgartown attorney admitted to sufficient facts on several charges last week in Edgartown district court, including identity fraud, credit card fraud and a removed attorney practicing law.
John C. McBride, 64, was facing 18 charges in five different cases for allegedly continuing to provide legal services after being disbarred and taking money from two clients. In one case from March 2011, he allegedly provided legal help for a 21-year-old Oak Bluffs man who believed he was facing criminal charges after a car accident in Rhode Island. The man allegedly paid more than $3,000 to Mr. McBride for legal services and later came to the police after reading about Mr. McBride’s other legal problems. Police determined that the man was not charged with a criminal offense and said in the report that Mr. McBride “took advantage of a young adult who was under the impression that he was in legal trouble.”
Mr. McBride admitted to sufficient facts on a charge of a removed attorney practicing law; the case was continued without a finding for two years and he was ordered to pay $3,325 in restitution. Charges of unauthorized practice of law and larceny more than $250 by single scheme were dismissed.
In another case, Mr. McBride allegedly represented an Edgartown man who was seeking an insurance claim following a bicycle accident. In September 2011, Mr. McBride allegedly accepted a $5,000 settlement check, forged the man’s signature and deposited the check into his own account. Mr. McBride said he did not intend to keep the money in his account and was going to give it to the man, whom he considered a friend.
He admitted to sufficient facts on a charge of removed attorney practicing law; the case was continued without a finding for two years. A charge of unauthorized practice of law was dismissed. He also admitted to sufficient facts on charges of forgery of a check and uttering a promissory note falsely endorsed; the case was continued without a finding for two years. A charge of larceny more than $250 was dismissed.
Mr. McBride also admitted to sufficient facts on four counts of credit card theft under $250 and the matter was continued without a finding for two years. In that case from November 2011, he was charged with fraudulently using a credit card left in an ATM machine. Two charges of forgery of a document and two charges of utter false writing were dismissed upon request of the commonwealth because of a lack of jurisdiction.
Mr. McBride admitted to sufficient facts on two counts of identity fraud from June 2012, also continued without a finding for two years. He was ordered to have an evaluation for and participate in counseling as mandated by probation.
According to a police report filed in court, Mr. McBride had been doing some financial work for the girlfriend of an Edgartown man, and he reported to police that Mr. McBride tried to purchase a vehicle at Herb Chambers Dodge in Danvers using the woman’s name and social security number as a cosignatory for the loan, saying she was his wife’s sister.
In 2005, Mr. McBride was ordered disbarred for violating rules that govern the conduct of lawyers, including the misappropriation of client funds. The state Supreme Judicial Court, which has authority over lawyer discipline, affirmed the decision in 2007.