Lawyer arrested for stealing $400K: District Attorney

Lawyer arrested for stealing $400K: District Attorney

An attorney formerly based in Manhasset was arrested last Thursday for allegedly stealing more than $400,000 from an estate he represented, according to Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas.

Robert Alan Wagner, 63, who currently resides, was arraigned the same day and charged with second-degree grand larceny, a class C felony, the district attorney’s office said.

If convicted of the charge, Wagner could face up to 15 years in prison, Singas said.

“This defendant is charged with stealing more than $400,000 in estate funds that he held for a client, and using that money for his own personal purposes,” she said. “Attorneys hold a special position of trust with their clients, and stealing from those grieving from the loss of a loved one is especially despicable.”

Wagner was retained by a woman before she died in Dec. of 2013, and allegedly misappropriated funds from the sale of her property after her death for his personal use, including expenses for his law practice, Singas said. 

The $407,000 account was to be used for matters related to the estate, including the distribution of funds to family members, she said.

In Feb. 2014, the account had been depleted to $300, even though none of the beneficiaries had received payments from the estate, Singas said.

The executor of the estate and a beneficiary complained in July 2015 after they hadn’t received payments, Singas said. The beneficiary was entitled to $100,000.

At the time of his arrest, Wagner was disbarred from practicing law, Singas said.

Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Contreras will be prosecuting the case. The defendant is represented by Joel R. Weiss.

Attempts to reach Weiss were unavailing.

by Chris Adams

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