Wednesday, November 9, 2022
The New York Appellate Division for the Second Judicial Department has disbarred an attorney for misappropriation of a portion of the proceeds of a real estate transaction
The respondent has admitted that she represented Murray in the sale of the Madison Street property, and that she received the proceeds of that sale. The respondent’s escrow bank records confirm that she deposited the proceeds of the Madison Street property sale, in the approximate amount of $770,000, into her escrow account. Although the respondent disbursed some of the sale proceeds at the direction of Murray, the respondent’s escrow bank records confirm that the remaining funds in excess of $630,000 did not remain on deposit in the respondent’s escrow account. The respondent concedes that she used Murray’s escrow funds to promote the respondent as an author and radio show host. The respondent claims that such use of the escrow funds was authorized by Murray, with whom she had a longstanding personal relationship, as an investment and to reimburse the respondent for legal services she claims to have rendered to Murray’s family members. Breanna Rochelle Coy, the respondent’s daughter, testified that she recalled the respondent getting oral authorization from Murray to use Murray’s funds. As to the purported investment transaction, the respondent admits that she did not follow the ethical rules relating to engaging in financial transactions with a client, and did not reduce the authorization to a written document.
The client denied giving such authority
In her testimony during the hearing, Murray denied ever giving the respondent authorization to use the proceeds from the Madison Street property sale as an investment or to pay for her family’s legal bills purportedly owed to the respondent.
In determining an appropriate measure of discipline to impose, the Court has considered, in aggravation, that the respondent misappropriated substantial funds from her client, a senior citizen; that she has failed to make full restitution to her client; the respondent’s lack of remorse and acceptance of responsibility; and her disciplinary history, which consists of an admonition. In mitigation, the Court has considered the respondent’s character evidence and charitable and community activities.
Under the totality of the circumstances, we conclude that the respondent’s conduct warrants her disbarment.
The Daily Mail reported that a New York with that name had represented Anna Sorokin.
Fox News Five also reported
She hired Thomas in 2020 for her appeal and immigration case after dropping her trial lawyer Todd Spodek, who is a notable character in the trending Netflix series "Inventing Anna" starring Julia Garner.