California bar investigating traffic ticket lawyer accused of running off with clients' money
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The State Bar of California issued a warning following several KTVU reports into a Bay Area traffic ticket lawyer accused of scamming his clients.
The State Bar said it's now investigating numerous complaints about San Francisco Attorney Robert Amparan and his business California Traffic Defenders. The firm advertised itself as "experienced and trustworthy" online and has offices in San Francisco and South San Francisco.
Bay Area drivers said they paid money for representation in traffic court, but Amparan never showed up.
Several of his clients said they filed complaints with the The State Bar about the alleged scheme several weeks or months ago, but nothing happened until after KTVU got involved.
State audits show The State Bar does not effectively investigate and discipline delinquent attorneys. Previously, it would not comment on whether or not an investigation was opened on Amparan.
As of Tuesday, no charges have been filed, however, The State Bar now calls the allegations "serious."
"Mr. Amparan is entitled to due process and a fair hearing," Interim Chief Trial Counsel Melanie Lawrence said in a press release. "We believe that the allegations are of such breadth and potential harm to the public that consumers need to be alerted."
The State Bar is urging anyone who had a similar experience to file an online complaint.
"We are seeking to complete our investigation and take action as soon as possible," Lawrence said.
Brooks Jarosz is an investigative reporter for KTVU. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @BrooksKTVU