June 15, 2023

Nanaimo lawyer Gregory S. Yanke has been suspended for nine months after reaching a consent agreement with the Law Society to resolve misconduct involving the misuse of his trust account and his failure to obtain and verify client identification information. Yanke has also undertaken to not receive or handle trust funds and to not open or operate a trust account until the Law Society determines the condition can be lifted.

Yanke admitted that he used his trust account to receive and disburse more than 1.2 million USD in trust funds in relation to six separate clients without making reasonable inquiries despite suspicious circumstances, recording adequate inquires, and/or providing substantial legal services. He also admitted he failed to appropriately obtain or verify client identification information in relation to five clients.

In approving the suspension and undertaking, the Law Society considered that Yanke does not have a prior professional conduct record and he has accepted responsibility for his misconduct. He has since completed courses in trust accounting and regulatory requirements as well as anti-money laundering measures.

A summary of the consent agreement can be found here.