Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Misapplication Of Entrusted Property Lands Ex-Closing Attorney Four Years After Pocketing $237K+ In Client's Refi Cash; Failed To Pay Off Existing Lien, Leaves Homeowner With Two Mortgages & Facing Foreclosure

In Freehold, New Jersey, NJ.com reports:

  • A former Freehold attorney was sentenced to four years in prison for misappropriating her clients mortgage funds, the prosecutor’s office said Friday.

    Deirdre Przygoda, 48, was representing a client who was refinancing her home and was given more than $237,000 to pay off the original mortgage, Acting Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said in a news release. The attorney removed the funds, which had been deposited in her trust account, he said.

    Since the original mortgage was not paid off, the homeowner now has two mortgages attached the property, and it’s in foreclosure, Gramiccioni said.

    Przygoda pleaded guilty Nov. 13, 2012 to second-degree misapplication of entrusted property. In addition to the prison sentence, she was ordered to pay $237,444 in restitution.(1)
Source: Former attorney sentenced to prison for misusing client's money.

(1) To the extent the victimized homeowner can't collect any money on its restitution judgment from the attorney, he/she may consider filing a claim (if one hasn't already been filed) with the New Jersey Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection, which was established to reimburse clients who have suffered a loss due to dishonest conduct of a member of the New Jersey Bar. According to the Fund's website, for loss claims that are determined to be eligible for a reimbursement there currently is a limit of $400,000 per claimant for claims arising after January 1, 2007 and an aggregate maximum for claims against a single attorney of $1,500,000. Lower per claimant maximums apply to claims arising prior to January 1, 2007, its website states.
For similar funds established to reimburse clients who have suffered a loss due to the dishonest conduct of attorneys in other states and Canada, see:

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