Disbarred N.J. Lawyer Admits Gambling Away $4M in Trust Money
Posted Jan 7, 2009 12:47 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A disbarred New Jersey lawyer has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $4 million from trust funds for gambling trips to Atlantic City.
The state is recommending a 15-year sentence for Michael Rumore when he is sentenced on April 17, the New Jersey Law Journal reports. Rumore pleaded guilty to money laundering and theft last Friday.
The money came from mortgage money held in trust for lenders, the New Jersey Star-Ledger reports. Rumore also admitted civil liability for misuse of another $2 million and has agreed to pay back about $6.2 million as part of the plea agreement, a spokesman for the state attorney general told the Leader.
Rumore’s lawyer, Anthony Alfano, said it’s unlikely his client will be able to pay back all of the money. “He’s going to try to pay back as much as he could,” Alfano told the Leader. “There’s no way he’s going to be able to come close to that.”
Alfano told the Leader that Rumore had “a very, very serious gambling problem” and suffered from bipolar disorder. He told the Star-Ledger that Rumore gambled for days without sleeping, and the casinos gave him free limousine rides to Atlantic City.
Rumore, a former fire chief in Lyndhurst, practiced law out of his basement.