I’ll bet–or maybe I should use another choice of words–that this is not the epidemic it might appear to be but has been around for as long as there have been lawyers with client escrow accounts.
Lawyer Charged With Theft From Client Escrow Account
Andrew Denney, New York Law Journal
Staten Island attorney Richard Barrett, accused of stealing $125,000 from a divorce client’s escrow account, was arrested Tuesday and charged with nine counts that include second-degree grand larceny, second-degree criminal possession of stolen property and issuing a bad check.
Hey, now that I didn’t get a definition of “warrant of habitability” out of Black’s Law Dictionary, maybe I can find one for “escrow account:”
escrow (es-kroh), n. 1. A legal document or property delivered by a promisor [sic]to a third party to be held by the third party for a given amount of time or until the occurrence of a condition, at which time the third party is to hand over the document or property to the promisee <the agent received the escrow two weeks before the closing date>. 2. An account held in trust or as security <the earnest money is in escrow>. 3. The holder of such a document, property, or deposit <the attorney performed the function of escrow>. [My bolding.]
Or, as in the case above, didn’t.