Surrey lawyer Mohammud Massood Joomratty has agreed to a 12-year suspension from practicing law in British Columbia after misappropriating $450,000 from a prospective immigrant.
The Law Society of BC stated June 23 how Joomratty committed a number of violations, the most notable being taking $450,000 from one client and improperly transferring $370,000 to his company and then to another client.
He acted without his client’s consent, was said to be in a conflict of interest and failed to independently confirm information about his client, according to the society. He also made written and oral statements to a client that he “knew or ought to have known were false and misleading,” according to the consent agreement.
The violations involve an immigration application by the client, who had hired Joomratty to apply for a visitor visa in December 2017 and eventually a work visa in February 2019.
Joomratty never confirmed if his client actually resided in B.C. when applying to the federal government and is said to have misled a foreign bank (unnamed in the agreement) in order to get $450,000 transferred to Joomratty’s trust account.
Without consent, Joomratty used the money to invest in another client’s company; however, he did repay the money, according to the agreement.
Several mitigating factors were outlined by the society.
“In accepting the consent agreement, the chair of the law society’s discipline committee considered that the undertaking not to practise law for 12 years falls within the range of sanctions for similar cases, the geographic scope of his undertaking, that Joomratty repaid the funds he misappropriated, that he did not have a prior discipline record, and that the length of the time before he may apply along with the requirement that he would have to satisfy a credentials committee he is fit for reinstatement effectively protects the public,” stated the society.
Joomratty became a lawyer in September 1998 and has terminated his firm this month.