A Brooklyn lawyer was arrested for allegedly stealing $280,000 in down payments he received to hold in escrow from two clients he represented in the sale of their homes, prosecutor announced Tuesday.
Edmundo Roman-Perez, 70, of Sunset Park, was arraigned on one count of second-degree grand larceny, three counts of third-degree grand larceny and five counts of issuing a bad check. He was released without bail and ordered to return to court on April 1.
“This defendant allegedly betrayed the trust of his clients and abused his power as an attorney, taking advantage of the escrow accounts he controlled to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez. “We will now seek to hold him accountable for this serious breach of trust.”
According to charges, an investigation uncovered that between October 2018 and March 2019, Roman-Perez represented a couple in the sale of their $1,350,000 two-family home in Sunset Park. Roman-Perez allegedly took a $135,000 down payment from the buyers that he was to hold in escrow until closing.
Shortly after the closing in March 2019, Roman-Perez allegedly issued two checks to cover the amount of the down payment, each in the amount of $65,600, both checks were allegedly returned because of insufficient funds.
Roman-Perez also represented three brothers in the sale of their $1,500,000 two-family home in Dyker Heights between November 2018 and April 2019. In this deal, Roman-Perez allegedly took a $150,000 down payment from the buyers that he was to hold in escrow until closing.
Three days after the closing in April 2019, Roman-Perez allegedly issued three checks to the brothers, each in the amount of $49,187.10, to cover the amount of the down payment. All three checks were allegedly returned because of insufficient funds.