Bad Lawyers

Smithtown Attorney Vincent Trimarco Jr. Indicted for Stealing Settlement Money from Young Girl
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Vincent Trimarco Jr.

Summary: The settlement from a wrongful death suit should go to the victim’s daughter, but the attorney used the money for his own pleasure then tried to hide the money from being able to be collected.

A Smithtown attorney acted despicably when he took money from a young girl’s settlement for his own pleasure. Attorney Vincent Trimarco Jr. was indicted for stealing $2 million of the settlement a young girl received when her father died in the Suffolk County jail over ten years ago. The girl was just an infant when he father died in 2005. The money came from a settlement of a lawsuit against Suffolk County for the death of her father.

  
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Trimarco, 48, is accused of using the money to buy luxury cars and properties and invest in a Patchogue nightclub. Trimarco is charged along with the girl’s grandfather in a 19-count indictment. The grandfather was named as a co-conspirator because he died in August. The charges include conspiracies to commit wire fraud and mail fraud and money laundering.

Trimarco was the part owner of the Patchogue nightclub, The Emporium, where some of the settlement money ended up. He was arrested there this morning by FBI agents. The rest of the money went towards buying a 2007 Jaguar convertible for $57,000 and $200,000 for a 2007 Ferrari as well as properties totaling over $600,000 in Nesconset, Hauppauge, and Ronkonkoma.

He has his own law practice plus he has tried to get into politics. Without the support of the Republican Party, he ran for the GOP nomination for the Suffolk County Legislature from Smithtown in 2007. He lost.

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Trimarco pleaded not guilty to the charges at the federal court in Central Islip before U.S. Magistrate Judge A. Kathleen Tomlinson. He was released on $500,000 bond secured by his father’s home. Acting United States Attorney Bridget Rohde said, “As alleged, by defrauding a co-conspirator’s grandchild of an inheritance from a wrongful-death suit, the defendant violated the law as well as the trust placed in him as an attorney. Protecting the public from those who, for personal gain, would abuse that trust and betray the laws they have sworn to uphold is a priority of this office.”

The girl’s new attorney John Ray went to the FBI when he was unable to collect money from Trimarco. That was eight months ago. Ray said, “At long last justice has descended on Suffolk County. For the little girl it could mean that her dreams could be fulfilled – [among them], to have a pony and go to college.”



His attorney William Wexler of North Babylon said, “When the facts are borne out, the government will find that my client has done no wrongdoing.” He faces up to 20 years behind bars if convicted.

The wrongful death lawsuit was settled in 2011 for $3 million by Suffolk County. The girl’s father, Scott Eriksen, died in the jail after being arrested for the misdemeanor charge of fifth-degree possession of marijuana. His family claims he was brutally beaten while jail officials claim he became violent when placed in the jail cell, receiving only a small cut on his head.

Of the total settlement, $1 million in legal fees were deducted. The remaining $2 million went to Scott’s father, Gary Eriksen. In 2012, Ray claimed his client, a young girl living with her grandmother, was the rightful heir to the settlement. Her mother was a teenager when she was in a relationship with Scott.

A Suffolk Surrogate’s Court ruled that same year that the girl was entitled to the money as an heir. Instead of returning the properties that were purchased with the settlement money, Trimarco tried to sell them and pocket the money. He tried to do this by creating shell companies that he secretly controlled so the properties or material could be purchased. The money could then be transferred to accounts he controlled, according to the indictment.

Should attorneys have to go through a third party to receive money from settlements? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about lawyers accused of stealing settlement money, read these articles:

Photo: law.com



 

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