A lawyer and businessman who formerly owned the Skybox on Sheffield rooftop club overlooking Wrigley Field has been disbarred just days after he was sentenced to 18 months in prison for allegedly concealing more than $1 million in revenue, cheating the city of Chicago, state of Illinois and the Chicago Cubs out of hundreds of thousands of dollars he otherwise owed in royalties and taxes.
On Jan. 17, the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission announced the Illinois Supreme Court had stripped R. Marc Hamid, of Lincolnwood, of his privileges to practice law in Illinois. The announcement cited Hamid’s recent conviction on federal charges of mail fraud and currency structuring.
Hamid was one of four attorneys disbarred and eight suspended by the state Supreme Court in January.
The announcement said Hamid “owned and controlled Right Field Rooftops,” one of the rooftop clubs which sells tickets and hospitality packages to people to watch Cubs games from atop the rooftops of the buildings beyond the outfield walls.
As a rooftop club owner, Hamid had agreed to pay the Cubs 17 percent of all revenue he collected from his club, which did business as the Skybox on Sheffield. However, a jury found Hamid had underreported revenue and attendance at the Skybox from 2008-2011, allowing him to underpay the Cubs and short the state, city and other local governments on taxes.
According to published reports from the nine-day trial in Chicago federal court, prosecutors had at one point recommended Hamid be sentenced to eight years in prison. But U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin sentenced him to 18 months, saying the amount of money at issue in the scheme fell far short of the totals of other fraud schemes taken to trial in federal court.
Also disbarred were:
- Natalie Mandelbroyt, of Chicago. The ARDC announcement said Mandelbroyt had pleaded guilty in Missouri federal court to a charge of conspiracy to commit fraud for her alleged role in connection with a scheme to defraud Medicare to benefit her husband’s medical practice. According to the release, she agreed to pay $990,061 in restitution.
- Michael J. O’Malley, of Schaumburg. The ARDC alleged he had “misappropriated $593,000 from six separate clients and attempted to mislead one … by sending them a copy of an order that had not been entered in court.”
- Sean P. Fleming, of Barrington. According to the ARDC release, Fleming “neglected 10 different bankruptcy matters, misappropriated over $3,000 in filing fees, made misrepresentations to his clients about the status of their legal matters and failed to return unearned fees.”
Additionally, the Illinois Supreme Court suspended eight other attorneys in January.
Laurence Kallen, of Oak Park, was suspended on an interim basis, and until further order of the court, while the ARDC considers a four-count complaint against him. The ARDC said Kallen is alleged to have failed to disburse more than $1.5 million in foreclosure sale proceeds from four different property sales.
Also suspended were:
- David M. Schrauth, of Winnetka, for three years and until further order of the court, after he allegedly “neglected a client’s foreclosure matter, dishonestly used his client’s retainer payment for his own purposes without authority, failed to return unearned fees to his client and engaged in a pattern of misrepresenting the status of the mortgage foreclosure matter to his client;”
- James R. Hanlin, of St. Louis, for one year for allegedly representing clients in Madison and St. Clair counties when he was not licensed to practice law in Illinois, and using another attorney’s name and registration number to file pleadings, without that other attorney’s consent;
- Harry A. Schroeder, of Chicago Heights, for one year and until further order of the court, for allegedly mishandling seven cases and not refunding $8,800 in fees;
- Brian Jay Dees, of Springfield, for six months and until further order of the court;
- John Patrick Messina, of Oak Park, six months;
- Courtney Olivia Wylie, of Chicago, six months; and
- Matthew Robert Wildermuth, of Woodridge, 90 days.