The Florida Supreme Court punished three South Florida lawyers between Sept. 6 and Oct. 18 for violating Florida Bar rules.
Criminal defense attorney Eric Allen Waraftig of Hialeah was suspended until further notice, after being found guilty of wire fraud and conspiracy. According to court documents, Waraftig was involved in a scheme to defraud online retail company QVC Inc. and is serving 18 months in federal prison.
Waraftig was admitted to the bar in 1996.
Bay Harbor Island attorney Sheldon J. Burnett, admitted to the bar in 1996, received a public reprimand and was ordered to pay $1,250 in costs for corresponding with another lawyer’s client without permission.
According to the referee’s report, Burnett used a “threatening or harassing tone” in his communications with Krista M. Karnis, a client of Miami lawyer Jonathan Davidoff. Burnett discussed settlement offers, the substance and merit of lawsuits, as well as legal theories and potential defenses.
In one instance, Burnett allegedly “insinuated that he would expose Ms. Karnis’ alleged sexual encounters with other men to her boyfriend if she did not settle the case,” according to the Florida Bar’s complaint.
Burnett admitted to ethical misconduct, but denied acting with “flagrant disregard” as alleged by the Florida Bar. His lawyer, Charles L. Curtis of Pompano Beach, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The court also suspended Miami intellectual property lawyer John H. Faro for 90 days over his communications with the client of another attorney — a move found to be “prejudicial to the administration of justice.”
According to the court-appointed referee’s report, Faro sent threatening emails to former client Katherine Blake at EPRT Technologies Inc. after she filed a malpractice action against him.
In one of the emails, Faro allegedly called Blake’s new Florida lawyer, Steven Greenberg, “scum,” and her Texas lawyer “another piece of work.”
“His interests are not your interests,” Faro allegedly wrote about Greenberg.
Faro was admitted to the bar in 1986.
Two other Florida lawyers were disciplined over actions that have landed them in trouble with federal police.
Tallahassee attorney Dayton Michael Cramer, admitted to the bar in 1971, was disbarred after he was caught in a child-sex sting.
Cramer, former general counsel to Florida State University, is serving 10 years in federal prison after a jury found him guilty of attempted enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity.
Former prosecutor Thomas Anthony Sadaka from Kissimmee was suspended in response to two first-degree felony charges — fraud and grand theft amounting to more than $100,000. When the state dismissed the fraud charge and Sadaka pleaded no contest to grand theft, the trial court withheld adjudication of guilt, giving Sadka 10 years of probation and ordering him to pay costs and restitution.