Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Elder Law Attorney Faces 4-12 Years After Admitting Handiwork In Ripping Off $797K From Vulnerable Clients

From the Office of the Queens County, New York District Attorney:
  • Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown [] announced that a Great Neck, Long Island, attorney has admitted to stealing more than $797,000 in funds that belonged to clients over a four year period.(1)

    District Attorney Brown said, “The defendant has admitted to breaching her fiduciary duty and unjustly enriching herself at the expense of her clients. Under the terms of the guilty plea in which she admitted her guilt, the defendant will sign a confession of judgment to begin the process of making her victims financially whole and faces the prospect of serious prison time. This is a fair and reasonable resolution to the case.”

    The District Attorney – who was appointed a special prosecutor in the case at the request of the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office – identified the defendant as Martha Brosius, 52, of Great Neck, New York. Brosius, an Elder Law attorney who maintained offices in Great Neck and Manhattan, appeared yesterday before Acting Supreme Court Justice Helene F. Gugerty and pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree grand larceny and one count of scheme to defraud.

    Justice Gugerty set sentencing for August 12, 2015, and indicated that she would cap any prison term at four to twelve years. At that time, Brosius also will sign a confession of judgment for $797,000.

    District Attorney Brown said that, in pleading guilty, Brosius admitted to stealing more than $797,000 in funds from clients – including a 77-year-old man deemed incapacitated under the mental hygiene law and for whom Brosius had been appointed as a guardian and two brothers who hired Brosius to handle their father’s estate and sell his residence in order to set up a Special Needs or Supplemental Needs Trust for their disabled sister, who was the sole inheritor of their father’s estate.
Source: Long Island Attorney Admits To Embezzling $797,000 In Funds From Clients (Will Sign Confession Of Judgment; Faces Up To 4 to 12 Years In Prison).
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(1) Clients found to have been victimized by any alleged trust fund theft may be able to seek some reimbursement for being screwed over by turning to the The Lawyers’ Fund For Client Protection Of the State of New York, which manages and distribute money collected from annual dues paid by members of the state bar to members of the public who have sustained a financial loss caused by the dishonest conduct of a member of the bar acting as an attorney or a fiduciary.

See generally:
  • N.Y. fund for cheated clients wants thieving lawyers disbarred, a July, 2015 Associated Press story on this Fund reporting that the Fund's executive director, among other things, is calling for prompt referral to the local district attorney when the disciplinary committee has uncontested evidence of theft by a lawyer injuring a client or an admission of culpability;

    Thieving Lawyers Draining Client Security Funds, a December, 1991 New York Times story that gives some-real life examples of how client security funds deal with claims and the pressures the administrators of those funds may feel when left insufficiently financed as a result of the misconduct of a handful of lawyer/scoundrels.
For similar "attorney ripoff reimbursement funds" that attempt to clean up the financial mess created by the dishonest conduct of lawyers licensed in other states and Canada, see:
Maps available courtesy of The National Client Protection Organization, Inc.

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