What to Know
- 2 disbarred lawyers of a now-shuttered LI firm were charged with multiple counts of grand larceny and scheme to defraud, authorities say
- Mitchell Lenchner, 60, and Corey Kaye, 60, are accused of stealing more than $7 million from 29 victims, according to the Queens DA
- If convicted, each faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison
Two recently disbarred lawyers of a now-shuttered firm in Long Island were charged Thursday with multiple counts of grand larceny and scheme to defraud for allegedly stealing millions for dozens of clients, according to authorities.
Mitchell Lenchner, 60, of Great Neck, and Corey Kaye, 60, of Seaford, are accused of stealing more than $7 million from 29 victims over the span of eight years, Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown announced.
They are facing one count of first-degree larceny, 19 counts of second-degree grand larceny, eight counts of third-degree grand larceny, one count of fourth-degree grand larceny and one count of first-degree scheme to defraud each, Brown said
If convicted, each faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.
Attorney information for Lenchner or Kaye was not immediately available.
According to court documents, an investigation allegedly showed that the two deposited settlement checks from their clients for sums between $5,400 and $2.275 million between April 2010 and May 2018.
In one alleged incident, in September 2011, the law partners, who formed part of the now-shuttered law firm Kaye & Lenchner, Attorneys and Counselors at Law, in Mineola, deposited a check for $2.275 on behalf of a client who was executor of her family member’s estate, Brown said, adding that on June 2012, bank records allegedly showed the escrow account had a balance of under $1 million that should have gone to the victim.
Additionally, according to the complaints in May 2014, the law firm allegedly received checks totaling $575,000 on behalf of another client, who was also the executor of a family member’s estate. The client did not receive the funds owed to him and within two months the escrow account had a balance of less than $50,000, Brown said.
The investigation allegedly revealed that Lenchner and Kaye received settlement money on behalf of their clients on numerous occasions between January 2010 and April 2018. However, instead of giving the money to those clients, it was allegedly spent on business expenses, payroll, personal expenditures and even to previous clients whose escrow funds were depleted by the lawyers, Brown said.
The Queen’s District Attorney’s Office urges anyone who may have been a victim of the pair’s alleged scheme to call the Integrity Bureau at 1-718-286-6560.