NEW ORLEANS (Louisiana Record) — Suspended Hammond attorney Michael L. Thiel has been voluntarily disbarred and the status of two other attorneys has changed following June 25 Louisiana Supreme Court filings.
Thiel's disbarment follows his conviction of tax evasion in 2016, formal charges filed against him by the office of disciplinary counsel and the joint petition for consent discipline filed with the court, according to the high court's single-page order.
In April 2017 Thiel, a criminal defense attorney, was sentenced by a federal judge in Louisiana's Eastern District to 30 months in prison following his guilty plea the previous December to evading about $1 million in federal taxes over 10 years, according to a U.S. Justice Department news release at the time. Thiel also was sentenced to serve two years of supervised release and required to pay the Internal Revenue Service more than $998,000.
Thiel cannot apply for readmission to the bar in Louisiana "unless he is in full compliance with all orders of the U.S. Federal Courts," the high court's order said. Thiel also was ordered to pay all costs and expenses in the matter plus interest.
Thiel was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on April 13, 1984, according to his profile at the Louisiana State Bar Association's website.
Thiel's disbarment was made retroactive to Feb. 9, 2017, the day the state Supreme Court placed him on interim suspension.
In unrelated decisions, Monroe attorney Clara E. Toombs and Ruston attorney Melanie Kay Shrell were transferred to disability inactive status following separate June 25 Louisiana Supreme Court orders.
Toombs was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on Oct. 10, 1986, while Shrell was admitted April 26, 2007, according to their profiles at the Louisiana State Bar Association's website. No prior discipline was listed on either attorney's state bar profile.
All disciplinary proceedings both attorneys will be deferred until either returns to active status, according to the high court's orders.