Lawyer Steals Money from Real Estate Sales

Allison Tussey —  August 23, 2011 — Leave a comment

Bruce Mogavero, 41, Eastchester, New York, pled guilty to stealing funds held in escrow from the sale of real property.

Between August 26, 2008 and April 28, 2010, the defendant stole approximately $270,000 in United States currency from the proceeds of the sale of a house in the Village of Tuckahoe. The defendant received a check for $455,000 for the sale the house on Oakland Avenue, Village of Tuckahoe, New York, and the money was to be kept in the defendant’s escrow account until the sellers had reached a settlement regarding a divorce proceeding. The defendant deposited this check into his escrow account, and converted over $270,000 of the funds for his own personal use.

Between March 1, 2010 and July 1, 2010, the defendant stole $82,700 in United States currency from a client he represented in the sale of an apartment in Yonkers, New York. The defendant received an $84,257.09 check for his client for the sale of the client’s apartment. The defendant deposited this check into his escrow account, but failed to turn over any of the money to his client and instead converted $82,700.00 of the funds for his own personal use.

Between August 26, 2008 and January 1, 2011 the defendant stole money from nine additional individuals while he was either serving as an attorney for the individuals or as an attorney involved in a transaction or proceeding involving the individuals.

The defendant’s actions were conducted without the permission, authorization or knowledge of his clients.

Upfront restitution in the amount of a lump sum $169,350 will be paid at time of sentencing.

Judgment Orders of Restitution for the clients, less the upfront money, will be payable through the Department of Probation and will be executed at time of sentencing.

Sentencing will be on October 25th, 2011.

The defendant is facing a maximum sentence of five to fifteen years in state prison.

Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore announced the guilty plea. 

Assistant District Attorney Berit Huseby of the Public Integrity Bureau, is prosecuting the case.

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Allison Tussey

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