The Indiana Supreme Court has suspended Indianapolis attorney and developer Paul J. Page from the practice of law for at least two years, although one justice thought he should be disbarred. The suspension stems from his guilty plea to one count of wire fraud in 2013.
Page had already been serving an interim suspension handed down in January when the justices issued his 2-year suspension Monday.
A 14-count indictment in federal court in South Bend alleged Page, John M. Bales and William Spencer defrauded the state and a bank over their purchase of a building in Elkhart and a subsequent lease deal with the state's Department of Child Services. Page agreed to testify if called against Bales and Spencer. A jury found Bales and Spencer not guilty.
Page was sentenced to two years probation and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine for concealing the source of a $362,000 down payment on his purchase of the state-leased office building in Elkhart.
Page has violated Indiana Professional Conduct Rules 8.4(b): committing a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer; and 8.4(c): engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.
Chief Justice Brent Dickson dissented from his colleagues, believing Page should be disbarred based on the felony conviction. Justice Mark Massa did not participate in this matter.
If Page’s two-year probation in the criminal case is reduced by an order of the trial court, he may petition for modification of his suspension from practice. He must also pay the costs of the proceeding.