Kamloops lawyer accused of misappropriating trust funds sought by law society - InfoNews

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Kamloops lawyer accused of misappropriating trust funds sought by law society

April 05, 2018 - 6:30 PM

KAMLOOPS – The Law Society of B.C. can start disciplinary proceedings against a Kamloops lawyer who has been accused of misappropriating almost $50,000 from a trust account even though they can't seem to find her to officially serve her.

The society issued a citation Feb. 2, 2018 for professional misconduct against Seanna Michelle McKinley, but according to law society documents, she told investigators she would not cooperate with an investigation into allegations she mishandled her trust account. In a published decision, law society bencher gave investigators approval to begin its proceedings by considering her served.

According to the citation, in 2014, McKinley, also known as Seanna Michelle Proulx, received $98,000 from an unnamed client, but according to court documents, she transferred almost half to a personal account.

The Law Society of B.C. citation alleges McKinley “attempted to mislead the Law Society... investigation by providing false or misleading information and records.”

The citation also alleges she "created and produced” some 528 backdated bills, 447 backdated cover letters, and 480 backdated Electronic Transfer Forms.

The Law Society says attempts to serve McKinley with an Order have been unsuccessful.

“On January 31, 2018, the Respondent informed a Law Society investigator that she would not cooperate with the Law Society by advising of a place to serve documents on her or make herself available for personal service,” a recently released court decision says.

Bencher Steven McKoen found it “impractical” to continue chasing her and approved an order of substituted service.

“I find that the evidence before me supports the conclusion that (McKinley) is willingly not making herself available to receive service, despite being informed that the Law Society has been attempting personal service,” he writes.

She practiced in Kamloops and told the law society investigator she was temporarily working at the Métis Commission for Children and Families of B.C. in Kamloops but attemps to serve here there were unsuccessful.

None of the allegations have been explored or proven before the law society disciplinary process.

— This story was corrected at 11:27 a.m. April 6. An earlier version incorrectly stated that a B.C. Supreme Court judge approved the subsituted service. In fact, it was a designate of the president of the law society, bencher or governor of the society. 

To contact a reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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