Lawyer Arrested for Looting Escrow Funds

Allison Tussey —  February 2, 2011 — Leave a comment

Barnett R. Rogers, Orangeburg, New York has been arrested and arraigned for stealing over $175,000 from two former clients that he represented during the sale of their home in Piermont, New York. Rogers is charged with one count of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a Class “C” felony.

During the summer of 2004, Mr. Ralph Libone and his wife, Georgia Libone, retained Rogers to represent them on the sale of their property, located At 83 Piermont Avenue, Piermont, New York. Because of litigation that preceded the actual sale of the property, the closing did not occur until July, 2007. At the conclusion of the sale, the defendant deposited the proceeds of the sale, more than $200,000, into his lawyer’s escrow account.

As is customary in most residential real estate transactions, the majority of the proceeds were to be turned over to the Libone’s. Rogers has turned over only a small percentage of the victims’ money and has illegally kept the remainder of the funds for his own use.

The proceeds of the property sale had been earmarked for the Libone’s retirement.

As a consequence of the theft of the money in this case, Rogers has been suspended from the practice of law. He had been a practicing attorney since 1956.

Rogers was arraigned at the Clarkstown Justice Court before the Honorable Rolf Thorsen. The defendant was released in his own recognizance.

Rockland County District Attorney Thomas P. Zugibe announced the arrest.

Rogers‘ arrest resulted from an investigation conducted by the Rockland County Special Investigation’s Unit. Supervising Senior Assistant District Attorney Anthony Dellicarri will prosecute the case.

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Allison Tussey

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