When a New Jersey resident needs the services of an attorney, he or she trusts that the attorney will have his or her best interests at heart. If a self-dealing attorney who puts his or her interests above those of the client breaks that trust, the ramifications for the client can be significant. Sometimes, the attorney's conduct rises to the level of criminal activity, making the situation even worse.
This is the case with an attorney who is accused of stealing money that a client entrusted to her. Her client entrusted her with over $16,000 earmarked for taxes on the sale of her apartment. However, prosecutors claim the attorney absconded with the money for her own personal use. Unfortunately, this is not the first time this attorney has been accused of pocketing a client's money.
In another instance, the New York attorney's client deposited money to be used for transfer taxes and recording fees with her. However, it was shown that she put the money into her personal account instead. Her license was suspended for "serious professional misconduct," and she was under investigation for another complaint.
The position of trust in which an attorney is placed is so crucial that laws exist to protect the relationship between attorney and client. Some people may hesitate to take legal action against an attorney for a variety of reasons. However, New Jersey residents who are betrayed by their attorney's self-dealing deserve the opportunity to recover the money they have lost along with any other damages allowed under state laws.
Source: newsday.com, DA: Lido Beach attorney stole clients' escrow funds, Ellen Yan, March 19, 2014