Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Long Island Elder Law Attorney Gets 4 To 12 Years For Embezzling $797K From Clients; Among Vulnerable Victims: Mentally Incapacitated 77-Year Old Man Over Whom Lawyer Acted As Court-Appointed Guardian, Disabled Woman Whose Money Was To Fund Special Needs Trust

From the Office of the Queens County, New York District Attorney:
  • Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown, acting as a special prosecutor, [] announced that a Great Neck, Long Island, attorney has been sentenced to four to twelve years in prison for stealing more than $797,000 in funds that belonged to clients over a four-year period [...].

    The District Attorney was appointed a special prosecutor [] at the request of the Nassau [] County District Attorney[] Office[], who requested the appointment of a special prosecutor to handle the matters in order to avoid any appearance of impropriety.

    In the Long Island case, Martha Brosius, 52, of Great Neck, New York, [...] signed a confession of judgment for $797,000 before being sentenced to four to twelve years in prison. Brosius, an Elder Law attorney who maintained offices in Great Neck and Manhattan, pleaded guilty on June 22, 2015, to two counts of second-degree grand larceny and one count of scheme to defraud.

    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 Sentenced To Up To 12 Years In Prison For Embezzling $797,000 In Funds From Clients. guardianship elderly
(1) Clients found to have been victimized by a theft by a New York attorney 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;

    When Lawyers Steal the Escrow, a June, 2005 New York Times story describing some cases of client reimbursements ("With real estate business surging and down-payment amounts rising with home prices, the temptation for a lawyer to filch money from a bulging escrow account and later repay it with other clients' money has never been greater, said lawyers who monitor the thefts."),

    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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