10/17/12 — Board will not penalize lawyer

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Board will not penalize lawyer

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on October 17, 2012 1:46 PM

A complaint filed by the N.C. State Bar against a local attorney was dismissed Oct. 12 after a panel ruled unanimously that allegations of wrongdoing in the case of Gregory Riley could not be proven.

Riley, formerly of Orander & Riley Attorneys and Counselors at law, was implicated in a disciplinary complaint filed in May that alleged he knowingly participated in fraudulent transactions similar to his former law partner William Orander III, who is being held at a federal correctional institute in West Virginia after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

Riley was said to have known that purchase loans were being made to appear as refinance loans concerning properties he and a neighbor's company, 581 Properties, purchased on Claridge Nursery Road and Gurley Dairy Road.

Fred Morelock, a Raleigh attorney and chairman of the three-person hearing panel, delivered the decision, but seemed to indicate he wasn't totally convinced Riley wasn't aware of the wrongdoing.

"I will say a couple of things to you, Mr. Riley," he said according to an excerpt from the transcript of the proceedings. "One is that if the rule is that you 'should have known,' then I don't think there's any question about your guilt in this matter. But it is a matter of proof and it's a matter of burden of proof, and the panel is unanimous in deciding that the complaint should be dismissed for failure to prove."

The complaint alleged that Riley was aware that the transactions were being misrepresented in the two cases where Riley and Greene purchased, rehabilitated and sold the homes.

Riley's former law partner pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud in 2011 following the revocation of his law license in connection to claims by the Bar that he committed 56 similar transactions between January 2004 and December 2006. Riley was Orander's law partner from April 2004 until January 2009.

Orander was sentenced in October 2011 to 42 months in prison and five years of supervised release.