Complaints, Lawyer Discipline and Public Hearings

 

Citation issued: May 23, 2019

David Jacob Siebenga and Sanda Ling King

Citations are authorized by the Law Society of BC's Discipline Committee and list allegations against a lawyer that will be considered at a discipline hearing. Please note that allegations in a citation are unproven until a discipline hearing panel has determined their validity.

Nature of conduct to be inquired into: 

1.  Between approximately February 2009 and February 2013, one or both of David Jacob Siebenga and Sanda Ling King misappropriated client trust funds totalling $25,575.93 on some or all of the 290 occasions identified in Schedule “A” by reversing trust cheques, some or all of which were stale-dated, and subsequently withdrawing the funds in payment of purported fees and disbursements, when one or both of them knew or ought to have known that those fees or disbursements were not properly charged to the clients.

This conduct constitutes professional misconduct, pursuant to s. 38(4) of the Legal Profession Act.

2.  Between approximately March 2009 and February 2013, one or both of David Jacob Siebenga and Sanda Ling King misappropriated client trust funds totalling $38,253.59 on some or all of the 125 occasions identified in Schedule “B” by withdrawing the funds in payment of purported fees and disbursements, when one or both of them knew or ought to have known that those fees or disbursements were not properly charged to the clients.

This conduct constitutes professional misconduct, pursuant to s. 38(4) of the Legal Profession Act.

3.  Further, or in the alternative to allegations 1 and 2, between approximately February 2009 and February 2013, one or both of David Jacob Siebenga and Sanda Ling King improperly withdrew client trust funds on some or all of the 290 occasions identified in Schedule “A” and on some or all of the 125 occasions identified in Schedule “B” without first preparing and delivering a bill or without keeping a file copy of the bills, or when one or both of them knew or ought to have known that those fees or disbursements were not properly charged to the clients, contrary to one or more of Rules 3-56(1), 3- 57(2) and 3-62 [now Rules 3-64(1), 3-65(2) and 3-71] of the Law Society Rules.

This conduct constitutes professional misconduct or a breach of the Act or rules, pursuant to s. 38(4) of the Legal Profession Act.

4.  Between approximately April 27, 2009 and May 3, 2009, in connection with a Law Society compliance audit, one or both of David Jacob Siebenga and Sanda Ling King created or caused to be created some or all of the following statements of account that one or both of them knew or ought to have known were false or misleading:

(a)  between approximately April 27, 2009 and May 3, 2009, 73 statements of account dated February 6, 2008 to February 27, 2009 created and saved as “accounts.doc” in connection to one or more withdrawals from [Financial Institute] Trust Account No. [number];

(b)  between approximately May 1, 2009 and May 3, 2009, 26 statements of account dated July 30, 2008, February 24, 2009, February 27, 2009 or no date created and saved as “accounts [Financial Institution] abby.doc” in connection to one or more withdrawals from [Financial Institute] Trust Account No. [number] (Abbotsford);

(c)  between approximately May 1, 2009 and May 3, 2009, one statement of account dated February 24, 2009 created and saved as “accounts [Financial Institution] newton.doc” in connection to one or more withdrawals from [Financial Institution]Trust Account No. [number] (Newton);

(d)  between approximately May 1, 2009 and May 3, 2009, 25 statements of account dated between September 11, 2008 and February 27, 2009 or no date created and saved as “accounts [Financial Institution] chwk.doc” in connection to one or more withdrawals from [Financial Institution] Trust Account No. [number] (Chilliwack); and

(e)  on or about May 1, 2009, 72 statements of account with no dates created and saved as “accounts [Financial Institution red.doc” in connection to one or more withdrawals from [Financial Institution] Trust Account No. [number] (Cloverdale).

This conduct constitutes professional misconduct, pursuant to s. 38(4) of the Legal Profession Act.

5.  On or about February 27, 2013, in response to requests made during a Law Society compliance audit, one or both of David Jacob Siebenga and Sanda Ling King attempted to mislead the Law Society or improperly obstruct the audit, or provided information and records that one or both of them knew or ought to have known were false or misleading, by producing or causing to be produced some or all of 214 statements of account bearing dates between September 26, 2008 and November 30, 2011, and by referring to and relying on the statements of account particularized in allegation 4, when one or both of them knew or ought to have known that the statements of account:

(a)  were back-dated to create the appearance that they were prepared before the actual date they were created;

(b)  were not delivered to the clients to whom they were addressed, before the withdrawal of client trust funds to pay the accounts, or at all; and

(c)  included fees or disbursements which were not properly charged to the clients.

This conduct constitutes professional misconduct, pursuant to s. 38(4) of the Legal Profession Act.

6.  On or about February 28, 2009, one or both of David Jacob Siebenga and Sanda Ling King represented to the Law Society in their trust report for the period ending November 30, 2008, which one or both of them certified to be “true and correct”, that Siebenga & King Law Offices did not have outstanding stale-dated cheques issued from their trust account when one or both of them knew or ought to have known that the answer was not true.

This conduct constitutes professional misconduct or a breach of the Act or rules, pursuant to s. 38(4) of the Legal Profession Act.

7.  On or about February 29, 2012, one or both of David Jacob Siebenga and Sanda Ling King represented to the Law Society in their trust report for the period ending November 30, 2011 that Siebenga & King Law Offices did not have outstanding stale-dated cheques issued from their trust account when one or both of them knew or ought to have known that the answer was not true.

This conduct constitutes professional misconduct or a breach of the Act or rules, pursuant to s. 38(4) of the Legal Profession Act.

8.  Between approximately July 2008 and February 2013, one or both of David Jacob Siebenga and Sanda Ling King failed to comply with accounting obligations under Part 3 Division 7 of the Law Society Rules and in particular one or both of them:

(a)  maintained more than $300 of their own funds in one or more of 18 pooled trust accounts, contrary to Rule 3-52(4) [now Rule 3-60(5)] of the Law Society Rules;

(b)  failed to keep an accounts receivable ledger, contrary to Rule 3-61(1)(b) [now Rule 3-69(1)(b)] of the Law Society Rules;

(c)  in some or all of 147 instances identified in Schedule “C” failed to maintain client trust ledgers, either in electronic form that could readily be transferred to printed form on demand or at all, contrary to Rules 3-59 and 3-60 [now Rules 3-67 and 3-68] of the Law Society Rules;

(d)  failed to maintain supporting and trust reconciliation documents contrary to Rules 3-59 and 3-65(3) [now Rules 3-67 and 3-73(4)] of the Law Society Rules, including:

(i)  [Financial Institution] trust account no. [number]: bank statements, cancelled cheques and trust reconciliations from December 2010 to September 2011; bank statements and cancelled cheques for the months of October 2011 and November 2011; and deposit slips from December 2010 to December 2011;

(ii)  [Financial Institution] trust account no. [number]: bank statements, cancelled cheques and trust reconciliations from December 2010 to September 2011; bank statements and cancelled cheques for the months of October 2011 and November 2011; and deposit slips from December 2010 to January 2012;

(iii)  [Financial Institution] trust account no. [number]: account statements, cancelled cheques and trust reconciliations from July 2008 to April 2009 (other than July 2008 and November 2008);

(iv)  [Financial Institution] trust account no. [number]: account statements, cancelled cheques and trust reconciliations for the months of October 2009 and January 2010; trust reconciliations from November 2009 to December 2009; from February 2010 to December 2010 and from January 2011 to September 2011;

(v)  [Financial Institution] trust account no. [number]: trust reconciliations from September 2008 to November 2008;

(vi)  [Financial Institution] trust account no. [number]: account statements, cancelled cheques and trust reconciliations from July 2008 to November 2008;

(vii)  [Financial Institution] trust account no. [number]: account statements, cancelled cheques and trust reconciliations from July 2008 to October 2008; and

(viii)  [Financial Institution] general account no. [number]: account statement and cancelled cheques for the month of December 2008 and account statements, cancelled cheques and trust reconciliations from January 2009 to July 2009.

This conduct constitutes professional misconduct or a breach of the Act or rules, pursuant to s. 38(4) of the Legal Profession Act