Trials & Litigation

Former practice group chief at major firm takes plea in perjury case over deposition statement

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A former chief of the real estate investment and capitalization practice at Troutman Sanders has taken a plea in a misdemeanor perjury case, admitting that he gave false deposition testimony in 2011.

Leonard Grunstein, 61, who earlier gave up his New York law license, will be recommended for a conditional discharge, a $1,000 fine and 150 hours of community service under a plea deal with the Manhattan district attorney’s office, reports the New York Observer. The maximum penalty for the charge is a year in jail, a $1,000 fine and restitution.

The testimony at issue concerned civil litigation over a complex real estate deal involving a Grunstein client, real estate mogul Ruby Schron, and a $1.3 billion leverage buyout in 2004 of nursing home operator Mariner Health Services, the article explains. When Schron, who provided a $100 million loan for the deal, tried in 2010 to take control of the resulting company, SV Care Holdings, as he had the option of doing, Grunstein, who was a partner in the deal, sued with another business partner and claimed Schron had never provided the $100 million.

A judge eventually ruled in Schron’s favor in the contract enforcement case that ensued. The perjury prosecution involved a deposition statement made by Grunstein in the case.

“On January 25, 2011 I testified at a deposition in the civil matters at a law office in Manhattan. Prior to giving my testimony, I affirmed before a notary public that I would testify truthfully. During the deposition, however, I intentionally made a false statement that I did not believe to be true,” said Grunstein in a guilty plea he read in court on Wednesday. “I testified at that deposition that, in the summer of 2009, I told [an associate] that the $100 million loan had not been funded, a relevant fact, when in truth I did not have that conversation.”

A press release by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office provides additional details.

Hat tip: The Real Deal

See also: (Nov. 2009): “Troutman Sanders: Confident Its Accused Real Estate Chief Will Return to Work” (March. 2010): “Troutman Partner Settles With DOJ; Firm ‘Supports the Sense of Vindication’”

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