July 21, 2020 By Michael Dorgan
A disbarred Queens lawyer was charged Monday for allegedly bilking his clients out of thousands of dollars after they entrusted him to take charge of their legal matters.
Michael Kohn, 70, allegedly stole funds held in bank accounts that were owed to three of his clients following real estate deals and an injury settlement, according to the Queens District Attorneys office. He was charged with three counts of grand larceny in the second degree.
Kohn, a Long Island resident who worked out of an office in Fresh Meadows, faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
Kohn, according to the charges, was hired by his first client to handle the sale of a deceased relative’s property in Douglaston. The property sold for around $650,000 in June 2013 but the client only received $100,000–a small portion of what was owed.
His second client suffered along similar lines after hiring him to handle the sale of a property in Woodside.
Kohn was expected to send his client $358,000 from the proceeds of the August 2016 sale of the property. Instead, the client only received two checks totaling $100,000.
His third client appointed him to manage a personal injury claim in July 2015 which was eventually settled for $90,000. However, Kohn’s client didn’t receive a dime.
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said that Kohn breached the trust of his clients and enriched himself.
“Instead the defendant allegedly pocketed tens of thousands of dollars that should have been distributed to his clients,” Katz said. “The defendant now faces serious charges and will be held accountable for these alleged criminal acts.”
Kohn was released on his own recognizance and ordered to return to court on Oct. 27 to face the charges.