Bad Lawyers

Real Estate Attorney Stole $5.7 Million
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missing money

Summary: A real estate attorney pleaded guilty to first-degree grand larceny for stealing $5.7 million from clients.

West Hempstead real estate attorney David Frankel was charged with stealing $5.7 million from his clients. Frankel pleaded guilty to first-degree grand larceny charges. The Nassau County District Attorney’s Office claim that he stole the money between September 2012 and February 2014.


District Attorney Madeline Singas said, “In less than a year and a half, this defendant pilfered more than $5 million from his clients and egregiously used that money to fund his unsuccessful investments. David Frankel was supposed to represent the best interests of his clients, but instead he defrauded them.”

Frankel was supposed to be representing seven realty companies between June 2012 and September 2012 while overlapping ownership of eight Brooklyn properties. Those properties were refinanced with over $5.7 million being placed in escrow into an Interest on Lawyer Account.

Soon after the money was placed into the account, Frankel began withdrawing funds in order to support his own investments and fund unrelated real estate transactions. The account, which had other unrelated money periodically deposited, reached a low balance of $836.81 in February 2014. Frankel did not have the authorization to use the money for any other reason except to distribute the money as instructed by the principals of the companies.

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The DA’s office noted that Frankel was disbarred in October 2015. He will be back in court in March for sentencing. They are recommending a five to 15 year sentence in prison as well as the order to pay restitution.

What sentence do you think Frankel should receive? Tell us in the comments below.

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