Thursday, 31 July 2014 11:33
A Plainview attorney is being disbarred after pleading guilty to stealing thousands of dollars from clients, according to the Nassau County district attorney’s office.
Matthew Kogan, 40, repaid the full amount to victims as a result of prosecution for stealing client funds to pay off personal and professional expenses. Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice recently announced that Kogan will no longer be able to practice law after stealing client funds instead of depositing the funds into his escrow account.
Kogan pleaded guilty to third-degree grand larceny before Nassau Supreme Court Justice George Peck. He is due back in court for sentencing on Sept. 10. Third-degree grand larceny is punishable with incarceration of up to 2 1/3 to seven years. The prosecution will be seeking six months of jail time and five years probation, a spokesman for the district attorney said.
Kogan has repaid the $32,500 he stole from his victims.
“This defendant stole from clients who put their trust in him to look out for their best interests,” Rice said. “Instead, he did the opposite, and as a result, he will no longer be able to practice law and put other clients at risk.”
Rice said a Brooklyn husband and wife hired Kogan in Feb. 2013 to represent them in a breach of contract lawsuit. The case was eventually settled in the amount of $32,500, which should have been deposited in his attorney trust account and the funds paid to the couple.
Instead, the money was deposited into Kogan’s operating account on Oct. 7, 2013. From Oct. 7, 2013 to Dec. 31, 2013, funds were withdrawn and/or paid from the operating account for Kogan’s personal and professional expenses and obligations — including payroll, credit card and loan payments.
In Nov. 2013, the couple filed a complaint with Rice’s Criminal Complaint Unit. DA investigators arrested Kogan in April 2014.