Ethics Tip No. 156: Don't Take Client's Money for Your Strip Club

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on April 05, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

One has to wonder whether Glenn McGogney of Harrisburg, Penn. actually ever read the state's attorney ethics rules. The longtime attorney was disbarred late last month by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court after the justices learned of his less than savory behavior.

Besides letting deadlines lapse, he convinced two clients to invest in his failing side business. He also conveniently forgot to tell them that the money was for a strip club.

McGogney and his partners were the proud owners of Lacey's Pub & Grill, a failing restaurant that was over $3 million in debt. The pub was facing foreclosure and had a lien against its liquor license, according to disciplinary documents. Regardless, the group decided that it was time to close Lacey's and reopen it as the Coyote Show Club.

Naked women equals money, right?

Before McGogney & Co could embark on this adventure, they needed a new influx of cash. Unsurprisingly, McGogney turned to his clients.

The first client he asked had no funds. He somehow convinced the man to mortgage out his commercial property to the tune of $185,000. The second client he asked had recently taken out $18,000 from his 401K for an advance payment of his child support obligations. He convinced the man to forgo that payment and give it to him.

Glenn McGogney told neither man about Lacey's financial woes or the fact that he was opening a strip club. He didn't disclose local opposition to the project, or advise either client to seek outside counsel to review the documents. Nope, he just asked and he received. And is often the case in these situations, he got way more than he bargained for.

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