Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Ex-Flanders lawyer charged in theft of $75,000

A now-disbarred lawyer who used to practice in Flanders was charged Friday with using the name of a legitimate attorney in a real estate closing and stealing more than $75,000 in funds meant for the seller of the property.

Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp on Friday announced that Neil Lawrence Gross, 47, of Livingston, was charged by office Detective Joseph Soulias with theft, identity theft and forgery.  He was released into his own custody, and his initial state Superior Court appearance will be scheduled for a future date.

Gross, a former partner in the Flanders-based firm Ward & Gross, was suspended from practicing law in October of 2012 and ultimately was disbarred on Oct. 21, 2014. According to state Office of Attorney Ethics records, Gross first  was suspended for failing to promptly turn over funds to a client. His disbarment that followed was related to violations of attorney ethics that included lack of diligence, failure to communicate, practicing law while suspended and failure to cooperate with ethics investigations.

In the current case, the Prosecutor's Office received a referral of an alleged theft from the New Jersey Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection in July. Through an investigation by the Prosecutor's Office's Financial Crimes Unit, Gross was found to have used the name of another attorney in a real estate closing that occurred in 2013, while he was suspended.

As part of the closing, Gross allegedly held more than $75,000 in a trust account but failed to disburse the funds to the seller of the property.  He instead diverted the funds to a personal account and in doing so, forged the name of the other attorney, according to the charges and the Prosecutor's Office release.

Gross also has a charge pending in Morris County of passing bad checks in Florham Park in 2014, according to court records. His attorney, Michael Fletcher, was not available Friday for comment.

Full Article & Source:
Ex-Flanders lawyer charged in theft of $75,000

1 comment:

StandUp said...

This guy is in real trouble!