Sunday, May 07, 2017

Aging & Broke, Disbarred Lawyer Coughs Up $2K To Cure Probation Violation, Dodge Prison Time In Connection w/ Client Embezzlement; Will Probably Leave State's Attorney Ripoff Fund Holding The Bag On Remaining $500K+ Owed For Stolen Funds It Reimbursed To Victimized Client

In Stamford, Connecticut, the Stamford Advocate reports:
  • A disgraced former attorney avoided jail this week by paying $2,000 in restitution for money he stole from a client. But he may never have to pay back the more than $500,000 he still owes.

    Benson Snaider, 79, made a brief court appearance Thursday [April 20] before Judge Gary White, who two weeks ago threatened to jail the disbarred attorney if he did not come up with the money.

    Snaider, a former top flight eminent domain lawyer, pleaded guilty five years ago to first-degree larceny for misappropriating an $800,000 check from the city of Stamford to Minchin Buick as a partial payment for the eminent domain of its property to construct the Stamford Urban Transitway.

    Snaider was given a five-year suspended sentence, five years probation and ordered to make restitution.

    His probation was violated in January after he made only $180 in restitution. He then made a $200 payment earlier this month.

    White made a civil judgment Thursday against Snaider for $536,000, payable to the Client Security Fund, which reimburses victims whose money has been stolen by crooked attorneys.(1)

    However, Snaider’s probation term has ended and is beyond the realm of the law.

    I don’t think they will ever see another nickel,” said Mark Katz, who represented Minchin Buick against Snaider.

    Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Maureen Ornousky said there is only so far the court can go to collect a restitution.

    Ornousky said signing the civil judgment was about the last measure White could take to ensure Snaider turns over any money he gets to the Client Security Fund. “I understand why the court did what it did,” Ornousky said.

    Snaider wrote a letter to the court after his probation was violated earlier this year, arguing his only income is $2,100 a month from Social Security. He said he barely has enough money for living expenses.

    "The amount imposed was on its face impossible to obtain," he wrote.

    Snaider also called his parole violation "unjust," because the fund had already reimbursed Minchin and he did not have the assets to pay the restitution.
Source: Disgraced Stamford attorney still owes client more than $500K.
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(1) In Connecticut, the Client Security Fund is a fund established by the rules of the Connecticut Superior Court to provide reimbursement to individuals who have lost money or property as a result of the dishonest conduct of an attorney practicing law in the State of Connecticut, in the course of the attorney-client relationship. The fund provides a remedy for clients who are unable to obtain reimbursement for their loss from any other source.

For similar "attorney ripoff reimbursement funds" that sometimes help cover 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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