The U.S. government has sued Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, attorney Donald Maclachlan in U.S. District Court to obtain judgments on more than $1.5 million in unpaid income and payroll taxes and to foreclose on tax liens against his home.
The suit seeks to reduce to judgment assessments of $1,075,469 against Maclachlan for income tax, interest and penalties for 2001-2007 and 2012. In addition, the suit seeks judgments for payroll taxes against Maclachlan for $355,825 and against his law practice, Maclachlan Law Offices LLC, for $132,129.
The suit also seeks to foreclose against a home owned by Maclachlan in Allendale, New Jersey, and seeks a determination of the interests of other parties named as defendants, including Maclachlan’s wife, Marie Napoliello Maclachlan; the mortgage holder, Ocwen Loan Servicing; the New Jersey Division of Taxation, and the law firm of Riker, Danzig, Scherer, Hyland & Perretti, which recorded a judgment against him in 2016.
The suit asks for a judgment declaring federal tax liens attached to the Allendale property to be foreclosed and an order for the property to be sold free of any liens or claims. The suit asks for the proceeds of the sale to be distributed to parties who assert an interest in the property and prove their entitlement to the proceeds. The suit also asks for any party who does not appear and assert an interest to be ordered not to have an interest in the property.
Maclachlan and his wife bought the house in 1994 for $435,000, according to court papers.
Riker Danzig officials could not be reached for comment regarding the firm’s judgment against Maclachan. A published account said the firm sued Maclachlan and his firm in 2015, claiming it was owed more than $150,000 for work the firm performed after he sought its assistance with class action litigation he filed.
In 2004, Maclachlan was among the attorneys for plaintiffs in a class action that accused hundreds of car dealerships of overcharging car buyers by a few dollars each for registrations and titles, Cerbo v. Ford of Englewood. In that case, with a class of 2.7 million members, the fee award was over $5 million. Class members in the case got coupons toward auto repairs and future car purchases.
Last October, the Supreme Court issued an order declaring Maclachlan ineligible to practice for failure to meet mandatory continuing legal education requirements.
A listed phone number for Maclachlan’s law office was not in service, and the number for his home was unpublished. The lawyer who filed the case for the Department of Justice, Beatriz Saiz, did not respond to a reporter’s call about the case.