Suspended NY Attorney Indicted for Stealing More than $100,000
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Summary: The Brooklyn District Attorney's office announced in a press release on Tuesday that suspended attorney Kenneth Gellerman, 57, was arraigned before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun on a 61-count indictment charging him with scheme to defraud, grand larceny, petty larceny, criminal possession of a forged instrument, criminal contempt, and practicing law as an attorney while suspended.
Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson said, "This defendant allegedly stole from numerous people who had suffered injuries in car accidents or falls and needed their settlement money, in some cases while he was suspended from practicing law."
Gellerman, a personal injury attorney, is charged with stealing more than $100,000 from clients he represented in personal injury lawsuits.
Thompson added, "We will now seek to vindicate the rights of these victims."
Gellerman faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted. He was ordered held on bail set in the amount of $100,000 bond or $25,000 cash and to return to court on November 5, 2014.
Thompson said that from December 3, 2008 to September 30, 2013, Gellerman had embezzled money from more than 15 clients by depositing checks received from negotiated settlements into his escrow account, or into other accounts that he controlled.
He withdrew the money and transferred them to his business account, and failed to pay his clients some or all of the money, and in at least in one case, he failed to pay money to a third party having a claim secured by the settlement.
Gellerman was suspended from practicing law in January, 2013. Despite his suspension, he continued to collect settlements without forwarding the money to clients. To conceal his activities he often settled cases while keeping his clients in the dark, and also signed endorsements on the reverse sides of the checks in order to deposit the money into his accounts.
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