Criminal Justice

Real estate lawyer will plead guilty in case accusing him of stealing millions in client escrow cash

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New York City real estate lawyer Mitchell Kossoff is expected to plead guilty as soon as this week to allegations that he stole millions of dollars in clients’ escrow money.

Kossoff surrendered Friday and was released on his own recognizance, report Reuters and Law360.

He is charged with grand larceny in a criminal complaint that said more than $2.7 million in client escrow funds is missing. But prosecutors said at a Dec. 3 hearing that they think that Kossoff stole at least $14 million.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office began investigating after Kossoff disappeared in April, and lawyers at his law firm stopped receiving paychecks. He was later forced into bankruptcy.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge David S. Jones of Manhattan, New York City, had found Kossoff in civil contempt for failing to provide law firm records. Kossoff had argued that turning over the documents would give up his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Prosecutors informed Jones in a Nov. 23 letter that Kossoff had reached a plea deal, and they anticipate being able to share grand jury materials with the bankruptcy trustee after a guilty plea is entered, previously reported.

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