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Tax Attorney Steven Etkind Indicted for Embezzlement
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Summary: A New York tax attorney has been indicted for embezzling client funds and lying to the Internal Revenue Service.

A New York tax attorney has been indicted on four federal counts for embezzling client funds. Attorney Steven Etkind, 57, is accused of embezzling over $3.5 million from a client’s estate that were marked for investments into charitable trusts, according to Law.com.

  
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Steven Etkind

The press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York states that Etkind was representing an entrepreneur who had named the attorney as co-executor of their $35 million estate before their death in 2008. The client had directed Etkind in their will to create trust funds from their estate that could be donated to charitable Jewish organizations, according to Newsday.

The newly unsealed indictment claims that Etkind and a co-conspirator funneled money from the charitable funds into shell accounts that Etkind and the unnamed conspirator controlled.

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Etkind used some of the money to buy a 6,300-square-foot house with a pool in Southampton, New York for $3.025 million. The home was purchased under the name of JE Capitol Holding Co. He attempted to cover up his actions by filing fake trust reports with the Internal Revenue Service.

He was charged with conspiracy, endeavoring to obstruct the enforcement of internal revenue laws and two counts of tax evasion. The maximum sentence is 18 years in prison.



Etkind is listed as a partner at Sadis & Goldberg LLP on his LinkedIn page. The law firm lists him on their website as the head of their tax practice, although his bio has been removed from their page. His LinkedIn profile states, “Steven M. Etkind oversees the firm’s Tax, Trusts and Estates, ERISA and Employee Stock Ownership Groups. He is also a Certified Public Accountant. Mr. Etkind has created hundreds of estate plans, ranging from a few million dollars in size to those in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Mr. Etkind has represented trust companies or business owners in numerous ESOP transactions, advised many businesses and private investment partnerships on taxation, corporate transactions, business succession issues and employee incentive strategies.”

He was admitted to the New York bar in 1987 after graduating from Tulane University Law School with his J.D.

Etkind’s lawyer, Randy Zelin, said, “My client and I are looking forward to the truth coming to light. He’s entered a plea of not guilty with good reason.”

Do you think there should be two unrelated people on accounts that deal with estates and trusts? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about other embezzlement cases, read these articles:

Cover Photo: flickr.com

Etkind Photo: sglawyer.com



 

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