Posted in Disbarred Attorneys, King County

William Wheeler

William Wheeler

License Number: 11557
License Type: Lawyer
Eligible To Practice: No
License Status: Disbarred
WSBA Admit Date: 5/11/1981
Contact Information
Public/Mailing Address: 4907 159th Pl SE
Bellevue, WA 98006-3260
Phone: (425) 643-3035
Fax: (425) 643-1082
Practice Information Identified by Legal Professional
Firm or Employer:
Office Type and Size: Not Specified
Practice Areas: None Specified
Languages Other Than English: None Specified
Professional Liability Insurance
Private Practice:
Has Insurance? – Click for more info
Last Updated:
Committees
Member of these committees/boards/panels:
None
Disciplinary History
Action Effective Date
Disbarment 06/30/2001

In some cases, discipline search results will not reveal all disciplinary action relating to a Washington licensed legal professional, and may not display links to the official decision documents.

Discipline Notice – William Wheeler
License Number: 11557
Member Name: William Wheeler
Discipline Detail
Action: Disbarment
Effective Date: 6/30/2001
RPC: 8.4 (a) – Violate the RPCs
8.4 (c) – Dishonesty, Fraud, Deceit or Misrepresentation
8.4 (i) – Moral Turpitude
8.4 (k) – Violate Oath of Attorney
8.4 (n) – Conduct Demonstrating Unfitness to Practice Law
Discipline Notice:
Description: William Wheeler (WSBA No. 11557, admitted 1981), of Bellevue, has been disbarred by order of the Supreme Court approving a stipulation, effective June 30. The discipline is based on his acts of fraud, dishonesty and misrepresentation while attempting to arrange a world-class boxing match in 1991 and 1992.

In 1991, Mr. Wheeler and a business partner operated a boxing promotion company named Wheeler and Associates (W&A). In February, W&A agreed to assist a Chinese corporation (CX) in planning a world-class boxing event in China, agreeing to act as agent for CX. Later in 1991, a disagreement regarding W&A’s compensation developed. When CX asked for the names of W&A’s directors, Mr. Wheeler provided a false response, naming two individuals who were not directors of W&A.

In December 1991, CX and W&A signed a supplemental agreement providing that CX would advance $700,000 for Mr. Wheeler to sign boxer George Foreman. Mr. Wheeler did not sign Mr. Foreman, but used the money for personal and business expenses. When Mr. Wheeler suggested that the main event involve two other fighters, CX agreed, and the parties signed another agreement in March 1992. This agreement was signed in both Chinese and English. The Chinese version was four pages and did not contain any fee provisions for W&A. The English version contained five pages, the last of which included an $850,000 fee for W&A. Mr. Wheeler caused CX’s president, who could not read English, to sign this last page without knowledge of the fee.

In March 1992, Mr. Wheeler delivered two signed boxing services agreements to CX. These agreements purported to be signed by the agents of the two main-event fighters. In fact, Mr. Wheeler’s business partner had forged the signatures at Mr. Wheeler’s direction. Mr. Wheeler falsely told CX that he had advanced $1.8 million dollars of W&A’s money to secure the two main-event fighters. On April 21, CX wired $1 million to Mr. Wheeler’s personal account.

On May 1, 1992, Mr. Wheeler told CX, falsely, that the two main-event boxers’ contracts were cancelled to avoid a $5.6 million-dollar charge, because W&A and CX had not rescheduled the boxing match. Mr. Wheeler also falsely told CX that the $2.4 million already advanced to the two fighters was forfeited as a result of the cancellation of the boxing match. On May 11, knowing that he would not be able to sign the two main-event fighters, Mr. Wheeler allowed CX to announce the fight in a press conference in China.

During May, Mr. Wheeler continued to demand that CX reimburse him for the money he falsely claimed to have paid the fighters. On May 16, CX wired $600,000 to Mr. Wheeler’s personal bank account and another $800,000 on May 18. On May 27, Mr. Wheeler transferred $1 million to an investment account. Mr. Wheeler continued to press CX for more money, indicating that if he did not receive $400,000 “there will be no event.”

In August 1992, Mr. Wheeler and his business partner were in Beijing, meeting with the CX representatives. Mr. Wheeler and his partner gave CX a false letter of credit, to show that they had obtained funding for the television pay-per-view contracts. Mr. Wheeler’s partner drafted the letter on bank stationery, and Mr. Wheeler signed a fictitious name as bank chairman. Later, Mr. Wheeler told CX that the letter was only a sample. On the way home from Beijing, Mr. Wheeler vacationed in Europe, financing his trip mostly with money from the $3.1 million provided by CX.

On August 24, Mr. Wheeler and his business partner split the remaining funds. A former employee of Mr. Wheeler and his partner contacted CX and suggested that they ask for an accounting. In response to CX’s requests for cancelled checks and receipts, Mr. Wheeler produced a false report stating that $1.2 million had been advanced to each main-event fighter and that the money had been forfeited due to cancellation. Mr. Wheeler paid one fighter’s manager $70,000 at most, and made no payments to the other.

Mr. Wheeler’s conduct violated RPCs 8.4(a), prohibiting lawyers from knowingly assisting others to violate the RPCs; 8.4(c), prohibiting lawyers from engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation; RLD 1.1(a), prohibiting lawyers from committing acts involving moral turpitude, dishonesty, corruption or other acts reflecting disregard for the rule of law; RLD 1.1(c) and APR 5(d), prohibiting lawyers from violating the oath or duties as a lawyer; and RLD 1.1(p), prohibiting lawyers from engaging in conduct demonstrating unfitness to practice law.

Linda Eide and Anne I. Seidel represented the Bar Association. Mr. Wheeler represented himself.

In some cases, discipline search results will not reveal all disciplinary action relating to a Washington licensed legal professional, and may not display links to the official decision documents.

Advertisements