Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal
New Mexico Supreme Court justices barred an Albuquerque attorney from exercising the right for 90 days after discovering he tried to avoid a legal judgment by moving assets between companies he owned .
The suspension of William Ferguson’s legal license went beyond the recommendation of the Disciplinary Committee, which only recommended that Ferguson be publicly censored.
Chief Justice Michael Vigil said Ferguson at a hearing on Wednesday that the judges firmly believe that a 90-day suspension is “very easy discipline” in this case.
The judges also asked Ferguson to take a professional responsibility exam no later than August 31 and score at least 80%. According to Vigil, the judges unanimously agreed with the Disciplinary Committee’s findings that Ferguson attempted to inappropriately shield assets after one of its companies was sentenced to pay a civil sentence of $ 232,000 in 2018.
The restoration of Ferguson’s legal license also requires that no additional disciplinary actions be brought against him in relation to the verdict.
“We sincerely hope that we will not see you again here regarding this proceeding,” Vigil told Ferguson.
Ferguson did not immediately respond to comments and his attorney John Brant declined to comment on Friday.
At the time of the judgment, Ferguson was the majority owner of Motiva Performance Engineering LLC, a high-performance car dealership that specializes in vehicle modification, according to the report by the Disciplinary Committee.
In 2014, Ferguson bought a $ 200,000 Ferrari and registered the car with Motiva, the Disciplinary Committee found. In doing so, Ferguson avoided paying a $ 6,000 excise tax on the vehicle, the report said.
In 2017, a vehicle owner sued Motiva for damaging one of its vehicles. In October 2018, he won a $ 232,000 judgment against Motiva.
Four days after the verdict, Ferguson transferred the Ferrari out of Motiva’s name and, according to the report, registered it with another company he owned.
This action should prevent the Ferrari from being seized to satisfy the judgment against Motiva, the report said. The vehicle was worth about $ 140,000 at the time, the board wrote.
Motiva ceased operations in December 2018 and applied for insolvency reorganization in accordance with Chapter 11 in November 2019.