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California News

2 San Diego lawyers disbarred over criminal allegations in unrelated cases

Two San Diego attorneys have been disbarred following separate criminal allegations, the California State Bar announced Tuesday.

According to a press release from the State Bar, the disbarments of Elliot Adler and Kelly Duford Williams went into effect last Friday.

Elliot Adler pleaded guilty last year to a role in a tax scheme. Kelly Duford Williams is charged with robbery and forgery, and a warrant has been issued for her arrest.

Williams, who ran Slate Law Group, was disbarred after the state bar’s chief attorney’s office discovered she had misappropriated funds her clients had received at settlements and made two false police reports against an ex-boyfriend.

The state bar alleges she misappropriated more than $104,000 of settlement funds awarded to two clients.

In March, Williams was charged in San Diego Superior Court with eight counts of grand larceny and one count of forged check.

While the state bar statement refers to more than $104,000 taken from two victims, a statement in support of an arrest warrant filed in Williams’ criminal case mentions more than $400,000 that would have been diverted from eight victims.

Adler pleaded guilty in federal court in San Diego last August to participating in a tax evasion scheme orchestrated by former Chabad of Poway, Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein. The scheme involved Goldstein accepting charitable donations and then returning about 90% of the funds to the donors, while pocketing the rest for himself.

Prosecutors said the donors would then falsely claim on tax forms that 100% of their donations went to Chabad, with Goldstein providing fake donors with fake receipts.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Adler was an alleged donor from at least 2010 through 2018, which reduced his personal income tax by about $500,000. He was sentenced last year to just over a year in prison.

California Daily Newspapers

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