B.C. lawyer that accepted $45,000 in $20 bills gets suspended | iNFOnews


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February 26, 2023 – 6:00 AM







A B.C. lawyer who accepted $45,000 in $20 bills has been suspended for 10 weeks due to a multitude of financial irregularities.


According to a Feb. 15 Law Society of B.C. decision, Abbotsford-based lawyer Randle W. Howarth improperly used his firm’s trust account to receive $776,305 although he provided no legal services.


On one occasion he accepted $45,540 in $20 bills and made no inquiries as to what “legitimate economic activities” would generate so much cash in such small denominations.


Howarth did admit he’d heard the investor was a “drug dealer” but didn’t think the allegation was credible.


The decision says the lawyer also made “misleading or inaccurate” statements to the Law Society.


He told the Law Society he hadn’t received more than $7,500 in cash into his trust account when he’d actually received $96,907.


Howarth signed a consent agreement admitting to professional misconduct.


The decision says Howarth has been a lawyer since 1978 and practices in motor vehicle cases, civil litigation and creditors’ remedies.


READ MORE: B.C. lawyer accused of laundering $23.5M


The professional misconduct has to do with a sawmill mill investment Howarth was involved in 2014.


More than a dozen investors advanced $25,000 to Howarth for the sawmill venture and he deposited the cash into his trust account.


“Between September 2014 and August 2017, Howarth used his firm’s trust account to receive and disburse a total of $776,305.97… in circumstances where no substantial legal services were provided,” the decision reads.


“The lawyer failed to maintain or produce receipts for the cash accepted and deposited to trust. Furthermore, the

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