Law Firms

After name partner goes missing, lawyers get no paychecks; clients allege millions of dollars in lost funds

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Legal woes are mounting for Kossoff name partner Mitchell Kossoff, who is facing lawsuits from clients alleging the theft of millions of dollars in escrow funds and the resignations of multiple lawyers from his New York City real estate law firm.

Lawyers at the law firm say they haven’t heard from Kossoff since April 1, and they are not receiving paychecks, Law360 reports. An involuntary bankruptcy petition filed against the Kossoff firm alleges more than $8 million in misappropriated escrow funds, while the Manhattan district attorney has opened an investigation, according to Law360 and the Real Deal.

U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams of the Southern District of New York said Friday she will grant an injunction barring Kossoff from accessing three bank accounts. She is presiding in a case filed April 12 by Miami developer Gran Sabana Corp. that seeks to recover $4.5 million in escrow funds. A lawyer representing the company told Abrams that she thinks more than $17 million has been stolen, Law360 reports.

Judge Jennifer Schecter of New York state court is presiding in several other lawsuits and issued an April 13 order freezing various bank accounts.

Walter Mack, a lawyer for Kossoff, told Law360 that his client has not fled and is not seeking to evade prosecutors. He said he is representing Kossoff “solely should there be any criminal law consequences of his conduct.”

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