Danielle was happy to tell any of her co-stars, who would listen, that Frank was disbarred, which many weren’t aware of since Dolores had stayed mum on the topic.
However, it turns out that Dolores didn’t know about Frank’s disbarment until well after the fact.
Dolores defended not talking about Frank’s disbarment to her friends and co-stars; saying that Italians aren’t raised to talk about family issues with friends.
“There’s like an unwritten law in Italian culture where you don’t ask someone their personal business. You don’t address the pink elephant in the room. If I choose to share it, that’s my choice. Of course, Danielle missed the memo on that I guess,” Dolores told the RHONJ cameras.
After being disbarred, Frank’s name stricken from the roll of attorneys and he was permanently prevented from practicing law. Frank joined the bar of New Jersey in 1991.
So, what let to Frank’s disbarment? Well, Frank was accused of misappropriating client funds after putting funds from one of his client’s accounts into a private business account.
NJ.com reports that Frank transferred $15,000 from a client’s escrow account into his business, Cattino Fitness Corp. However, Frank didn’t stop there. He also used $10,000 from another account to pay his own legal fees.
After several months, Frank did repay the money. As for why it took him so long to pay it back, Franks blames it on a “delay in remembering the existence of those loans.”
Turns out this isn’t Frank’s first time getting into legal trouble.
Frank’s first run-in with the law occurred in 1988 when he was charged with possession of cocaine and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. In 1989 Frank pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced to three years of probation.
As for Dolores, she recently revealed that the first time she heard about Frank’s disbarment was on the couch at the season 8 reunion.
During an appearance on Sirius XM’s Reality Checked with Amy Phillips, Dolores explains what really caused Frank’s disbarment. Turns out the story isn’t as juicy as we all thought.
“I knew that he was audited,” Dolores tells Amy Phillips. “In twenty years he’s never had one ethical complaint. That’s hard because even if a professional doesn’t do anything wrong, they’re targets for this. Frank’s always been so good, everyone loves him, he did a closing free for his friend. His friend wanted the money right out the account, he needed it right away and Frank just gave it to him, didn’t fill out the right paperwork. The guy went to court and said he did not take my money but it was still comingling funds. It was $10,000 or whatever and he lost it. They took his license for that.”
Continuing, “For four years they’ve been looking into this and Frank’s like ‘It’s not happening, it’s not happening,’ and then when it happened it was a week before Thanksgiving, that’s when the reunion was, he had never told me but it had gone on for four years. I figured if something happened I would have known; he would say ‘Oh, I’m going to court for this today’ or whatever. And it was like, he said it was like a witch hunt, but it doesn’t matter. However, what we never knew or saw was him standing up in court. We never saw that until we saw the episode.”
Apparently, Frank never knew the RHONJ cameras were filming him in court.
“He didn’t know, he didn’t know that even existed. So, when Frank and I have our sitdown at the end of the day and look at this episode and that came on we just looked at each other and were like ‘what the hell was that.’ And I felt so, I couldn’t watch it, his hand was shaking, I felt so bad for him,” Dolores reveals.
“We know what we sign up for when we get on this show and he picked himself up, he’s okay but it was a hurtful thing. And I was mad at him for not telling me because I looked like a liar, which I’m not. I would have admitted it. The next day [after the season 8 reunion], Siggy text me and says this is true Dolores. I texted him and asked him, ‘Is this true? and he said it is, I’m okay, we’re okay financially, don’t worry about it. I said ‘How dare you not tell me about it’ and he said ‘Don’t make it about you.’ I said I’ve never made anything about me. Okay, Frank, I’ll suppress how I feel right now like I have for the past 47 years.”
However, Dolores says Frank not telling her about his disbarment wasn’t the pink elephant in the room, instead, Dolores says it was her telling Frank how she felt and making sure he knows he can’t keep secrets like this ever again.
“No, not in that case. I think the pink elephant was me having to tell him how I felt about it and drag it out of him and say don’t ever do it again cause that’s your last stop for me. That was the pink elephant, that there was still animosity between us once I found out,” Dolores wrapped.