A suburban Philadelphia woman who claims she was the victim of fraud after a judgment was entered against her allegedly without her having known a civil action was ever initiated against her in the first place is suing the lawyer who supposedly represented her in the prior matter.
Attorney Olugbenga O. Abiona filed the legal malpractice claim July 30 at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on behalf of North Wales, Pa. resident Lynette Alston.
The defendants named in the lawsuit are Philadelphia attorney Charles M. McCuen and the firm of Ominsky & Ominsky P.C.
The complaint alleges that last summer, Alston received correspondence from an attorney named Michael Klimpl, which stated that a hearing had been set on a motion for sanction against Alston in a matter titled FRA Trust v. Lynette Alston.
The correspondence was the first time Alston had ever been informed that she had been sued in the above-captioned matter, that a lawsuit had been going on where McCuen and his firm had claimed they were retained by Alston to represent the woman in the matter, and that a judgment had been entered against Alston, according to the complaint.
The judgment had been entered in April 2010, with the civil action dating back to the prior year.
The lawsuit claims that Alston never retained the defendants and that she never met or discussed anything with the defendants relating to the FRA Trust matter.
“At no time did Plaintiff EVER authorized [sic] Defendants to file any pleadings, motions or respond to any motions or perform any services on her behalf in the FRA Trust Matter,” the suit states.
The complaint alleges that Alston doesn’t know McCuen and has no idea how, why and upon what “legitimate authority” he had represented himself to the court in the FRA Trust matter.
The suit also claims that McCuen and his firm never contacted Alston to indicate that they were representing Alston in the prior legal matter, and that they never advised Alston as to what papers may have been filed on her behalf.
The lawsuit further alleges that the defendants were aware that a man named Anthony Alston, who was the defendants’ client in a bankruptcy matter, was the person who had transacted with FRA Trust for an alleged loan and was the person responsible for all repayments to the trust, which would have constituted a conflict of interest for the defendants to represent Alston in the trust matter.
The suit does not explain the relationship between Lynette and Anthony Alston.
“However, Defendants conspired with Anthony Alston to defraud Plaintiff and have a judgment entered against Plaintiff unbeknownst to her for a transaction that Anthony Alston was singularly and personally liable for,” the lawsuit states. “Plaintiff is a victim of fraud, injurious falsehood, fraudulent misrepresentations, conspiracy and legal malpractice by Defendants.”
McCuen, the complaint alleges, falsely represented to the court that he had been retained by Lynette Alston, entered an appearance on her behalf in the trust matter without her authorization, and then conspired with Anthony Alston as to the defense presented in the prior case without any contribution from Lynette Alston.
At one point, McCuen admitted under oath that he was never retained to represent the plaintiff, and that all of the information used in filing pleadings and other papers on her behalf he had fraudulently obtained from Anthony Alston.
The suit claims that as a result of the ordeal, Lynette Alston currently owes more than $70,000 stemming from the judgment against her.
The lawsuit contains counts of injurious falsehood, fraudulent misrepresentation and negligent malpractice.
Lynette Alston seeks a jury trial along with damages in excess of $50,000.
The case ID number is 120703984.