After the recommendations of four months suspension from the New Jersey Disciplinary Review board and even disbarment from the state Office of Attorney Ethics, the New Jersey Supreme Court decided to simply censure New Jersey lawyer Kevin Wigenton for unethical conduct. Mr. Wigenton was accused of negligently misappropriating trust and escrow funds. In 2002, a random audit was conducted by the Office of Attorney Ethics (OAE). Following a second audit, the OAE brought charges against Mr. Wigenton of multiple instances of knowing misappropriation of client trust and escrow funds and with acting with a conflict of interest in a real estate transaction.
After review of the record, the court found that Mr. Wigenton did not knowingly misappropriate the funds, but did so negligently due to “terrible” record keeping practices. In its order, the court noted that though Mr. Wigenton had “grossly deficient” accounting methods and had violated professional conduct rules of safekeeping property and conflicts of interest, no client or third party was harmed.
-Josh J.T. Byrne, Esquire and Shilpa Kadoo