An attorney who was disbarred from practicing law in New York was arrested and charged for allegedly engaging in the unauthorized practice of law and stealing $372,500 in escrow funds from a client he represented in the sale of a $7.4 million apartment building in Manhattan, authorities announced.
Long Island resident Gregg A. Luckman, age 53, of Bellmore in Nassau County, was arraigned on Friday, May 7, and charged with grand larceny in the second degree (a Class C felony) and practice of law by an attorney who has been disbarred, suspended or convicted of a felony (a Class E felony), Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said.
If convicted of the top charge, the maximum sentence is five to 15 years in prison.
Luckman is due back in court on Friday, May 14.
Singas said that on July 25, 2018, Luckman was disbarred by the Appellate Division, Second Department, after submitting a sworn affidavit to the Grievance Committee in January 2018 in support of his application to resign as an attorney.
Luckman’s affidavit acknowledged that he was the subject of an investigation being conducted by the Committee involving allegations of professional misconduct, including the misappropriation of client funds and failure to safeguard funds held in escrow, Singas said.
As part of the affidavit, Luckman acknowledged and agreed that pending the issuance of an order from the committee accepting his resignation, he would not undertake to represent any new clients or accept any retainers for future legal services to be rendered, according to Singas.
Luckman further acknowledged and agreed that there would be no transactional activity in any fiduciary account to which he had access, other than for payment of funds held therein on behalf of clients or others entitled to receive them.
Despite Luckman’s affidavit, he was hired as an attorney and began representing a client in the sale of a $7.4 million apartment building in Manhattan, executed on June 20, 2018, said Singas.
After Luckman’s disbarment, he allegedly continued to represent the client at the closing of the sale of the property that occurred on Oct. 3, 2018.
As part of the sale, the purchaser provided Luckman with a down payment of $555,000 to be held in Luckman’s escrow account located in Nassau County, said Singas.
Instead of releasing these funds to his client, Luckman allegedly made a partial payment to his client of $175,000 from other accounts and withdrew the escrow funds for himself.
Luckman allegedly used the funds to operate his business, issue checks to himself and multiple entities, and conducted debit transfers to his other bank accounts in excess of $290,000 from June 20, 2018 to April 9, 2019.
Anyone who believes they were a victim of Luckman should contact the Nassau County DA’s Office, Financial Crimes Bureau at 516-571-2149.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.