Citation issued: february 11, 2015

david masao saito 

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. In 2011 and 2012, you submitted medical expense claims containing false descriptions to, and received payment from, your employer for reimbursement of expenses totaling $30,156.31 when you knew or ought to have known you were not entitled to reimbursement of the full amount because you had not incurred the expenses. The particulars are set out in Schedule A.

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

2. In 2011 and 2012, you submitted expense claims set out in Schedule B totaling $8,014.40 to, and received payment from, your employer for reimbursement of expenses when you had already submitted the claims to, and received payment from, your employer for those expenses.

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

3. In 2011 and 2012, you submitted automobile and mileage expense claims to, and received payment from, your employer for expenses totaling $11,281.69 when you knew that you had not incurred the expenses or that the amounts you claimed were not based on any reasonable calculation of the amount of driving you may have done for business purposes. The particulars are set out in Schedule C.

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

4. Between 2007 and 2012, you caused your employer, without its knowledge or consent, to pay for disbursements incurred on files relating to the estates of your family members when your employer was not obligated to pay the disbursements, by causing cheques to be issued from your employer’s general account as set out in Schedule D totaling $15,167.70, posting those disbursements to a miscellaneous file, and subsequently writing off the disbursements on October 4, 2007 and November 26, 2012, without billing the estate files and reimbursing your employer.

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

5. On or about July 27, 2009, you caused your employer to reimburse you for disbursements you purportedly incurred on files related to the estates of your family members from client funds held in trust on your grandmother’s estate, by issuing a trust cheque payable to you in the amount of $14,165.58 when you knew or ought to have known that you were not entitled to reimbursement of this full amount as $7,122.84 of these disbursements had been paid from your employer’s general account as set out in Schedule D, allocated to a miscellaneous file, and written off on or about October 4, 2007, contrary to Rule 3-56(1) 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.

6. On or about December 23, 2011, you caused your employer to reimburse you $2,455.70 by issuing a general cheque payable to you in that amount for disbursements you purportedly incurred in relation to probate fees paid for the estate of your late brother when you knew or ought to have known that you were not entitled to reimbursement because:

(a) the probate fees incurred were in the amount of $1,988;

(b) the probate fees had been paid from your employer’s general account in June 2011; and

(c) you allocated the probate fees to a miscellaneous file and wrote them off on or about November 26, 2012.

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

7. In or around August 2009, you deposited $16,000 of your personal funds into your employer’s pooled trust account and you maintained those funds in the pooled trust account until approximately March 2011, contrary to Rule 3-52(3) 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.

 

SCHEDULE A

 

Date of Payment to
Respondent

Description

Amount

January 21, 2011

prescriptions and medical

$2,822.95

June 24, 2011

dentist $2,107.80; hospital $446.79; prescriptions $469.20

$3,023.79

July 22, 2011

medical and dental

$5,775.00

October 21, 2011

prescriptions $969.37; dental $400.00

$1,369.37

May 31, 2012

dental $1,887.40; glasses $1,966.00; prescriptions $643.88

$4,497.28

June 28, 2012

dentist $3,550.00; glasses $466.57; prescriptions $302.78

$4,319.35

July 6, 2012

dentist

$910.00

July 27, 2012

dentist $2,350.00; prescriptions $535.37; glasses $403.20

$3,288.57

August 28, 2012

dentist

$1,650.00

September 20, 2012

dentist

$1,250.00

November 16, 2012

dentist

$1,250.00

Total

 

$30,156.31

 

 

 

SCHEDULE B

 

Date Expense Incurred or Paid by Respondent

Description
of Claim

Amount Incurred
for Expense

Dates Claims Made to
and paid by Firm

Total Amount of Reimbursement

June 1, 2011

Dr. H

$275.00

July 22, 2011;
August 26, 2011; November 4, 2011

$825.00

October 27, 2011

Dr. H

$200.00

November 25, 2011; December 16, 2011

$400.00

May 25, 2011

Dr. L

$117.80

July 22, 2011;
August 26, 2011

$235.60

January 26, 2011

Dr. D

$217.20

February 25, 2011; August 26, 2011

$434.40

February 7, 2011

Dr. D

$365.19

February 25, 2011; August 26, 2011

$730.38

August 18, 2011

Dr. D

$222.60

August 26, 2011; September 23, 2011

$445.20

August 23, 2011

Dr. D

$127.00

August 26, 2011; September 23, 2011; October 21, 2011

$381.00

July 7, 2011

Dr. H

$1,050.00

July 22, 2011;
January 23, 2011; February 13, 2012

$3,150.00

February 9, 2011

prescriptions

$412.19

 

February 25, 2011; August 26, 2011 (store visa receipt); August 26, 2011 (prescription slips - claimed $321.45)

$1,145.83

December 1, 2010

prescriptions

$100.51

August 26, 2011; September 23, 2011

$201.02

June 11, 2012

prescriptions

$206.04

June 28, 2012;
July 6, 2012

$412.08

May 14, 2012

prescriptions

$89.00

May 31, 2012;
July 6, 2012

$178.00

January 14, 2012

phone hardware

$468.14

January 23, 2012; February 13, 2012

$936.28

July 20, 2011

glasses

$169.00

August 26, 2011; February 13, 2012

$338.00

October 19, 2011

 

contact lenses

$359.50

November 25, 2011; December 16, 2011; February 13, 2012

$1,078.50

July 18, 2011 (paid $201.60)

July 22, 2011 (paid $88.48)

laptop repair

$290.08

July 22, 2011 (claimed $201.60); August 26, 2011 (claimed $290.08); September 23, 2011 (claimed $201.60); March 9, 2012 (claimed $606.68); April 27, 2012 (claimed $290.80); June 28, 2012 (claimed $201.60)

$1,792.36

 

 

Total Expenses Incurred: $4,669.25

 

Total Reimbursement: $12,683.65

 

 

SCHEDULE C

 

Date Respondent paid for Claim

Amount of Claim

November 25, 2011

$5,352.50

July 6, 2012

$2,772.69

December 14, 2012

$3,156.50

Total

$11,281.69

 
 
SCHEDULE D
 

 

 

Date Disbursement paid from Firm’s General account

Amount of Disbursement

Description

Date Respondent “Reimbursed” for
Disbursement

Date Written off from Miscellaneous File

1

June 19, 2007

$2,061.76

2007 property taxes – KS file (grandmother)

July 27, 2009 (from Trust)

October 4, 2007

2

August 20, 2007

$5,061.08

2005 tax assessment – FS file (mother)

July 27, 2009 (from Trust)

October 4, 2007

3

February 16, 2009

$1,104.00

Property insurance – F/HS file (mother/father) or KS (grandmother)

 

November 26, 2012

4

June 6, 2011

$1,988.00

Probate fees – HS file (brother)

December 23, 2011 (General cheque of $2,455.70)

November 26, 2012 invoice on HS file included $2,455.70 charge for disbursement; paid by beneficiary on December 3, 2012

November 26, 2012

5

June 25, 2012

$2,437.99

Property taxes, Revelstoke – KS file

 

November 26, 2012

6

June 25, 2012

$1,614.87

Property taxes, Kamloops – F/HS files (mother/father)

 

November 26, 2012

7

June 26, 2012 and September 17, 2012

$450 and $450

Paid to Mr. C – F/HS files (mother/father)

 

November 26, 2012

 

 

 
Rows 1 to 7 = $15,167.70

Total Trust Funds improperly paid to Respondent: Rows 1 and 2 = $7,122.84

Total General Funds improperly paid to Respondent: Row 4 = $2,455.70