Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Business

Pasco county lawyer disbarred for taking woman's money

NEW PORT RICHEY — The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday disbarred Pasco County attorney and former congressional candidate Constantine Kalogianis.

The justices accepted the recommendation of a court-appointed referee, who found that Kalogianis was "drenched in deceitful motive" in his dealings with 74-year-old Jacqueline Drury.

Kalogianis, who turns 54 on Saturday, still faces felony criminal charges for allegedly altering mortgage foreclosure records to benefit homeowners he represented.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Pasco lawyer accused of altering documents in foreclosure cases

A veteran attorney, Kalogianis was developing a subdivision in New Port Richey in 2007 when Drury hired him to handle the sale of her late mother's home. An assistant to Kalogianis suggested that Drury "invest" the $227,000 proceeds of the sale with the attorney.

According to the referee's report, neither the assistant nor Kalogianis ever made it clear to the "financially unsophisticated" Drury what she was investing in. In fact, the money was a personal loan to Kalogianis secured by second mortgages on his then-home and lots in the subdivision where he was building a new million-dollar house.

The lenders eventually foreclosed on the first mortgage, wiping our Drury's second mortgage. Kalogianis also stopped making interest payments on his loan from Drury and he did not pay back the $227,000 after the agreed-upon five years.

At a hearing last summer, Drury recounted how the loss of the money left her so broke that she had to give up cable TV and her car and couldn't even afford to see a dentist.

The Supreme Court suspended Kalogianis immediately from taking new business and gave him 30 days to shut down his practice. He could reapply for admission to the Bar after five years.

Contact Susan Taylor Martin at [email protected] or (727) 893-8642. Follow @susanskate

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