A Rosedale lawyer was arrested this week for allegedly stealing more than $200,000 from a client after selling a Brooklyn home, prosecutors announced Tuesday.
Audrey Thomas, 49, turned herself in to law enforcement on July 29 and was charged with second-degree grand larceny. She was released on her own recognizance and ordered to return to court on Sept. 12.
If convicted, Thomas faces up to 15 years in prison.
“The defendant in this case was trusted to handle a complex real estate sale and to hold the money in escrow on behalf of her client,” said acting District Attorney John M. Ryan. “Instead, the lawyer is accused of slowly siphoning funds from the bank account. Over time, the cash in that account was depleted to nearly nothing. This defendant is alleged to have acted without regard for her client to benefit her own greed. Such alleged actions cannot go unpunished.”
According to charges, in May 2013, Thomas was hired by a Brooklyn woman to represent her in the sale of a home she owned on Madison Street. The contract for the sale of the property was $1 million and during the closing in November 2013, several checks were issued. Thomas was allegedly responsible for holding all funds in escrow for the client.
The checks were then deposited into Thomas’s Bank of America account, but in May 2014, that account was closed and the balance was transferred into a JP Morgan Chase account.
As time went on, Thomas would allegedly depleted the account and use the funds for both personal and business expenses. By November 2014, the Chase bank account balance was allegedly down to just $25. When confronted by the victim’s daughter, Thomas allegedly told her, in sum and substance, that she had lost all proceeds from the sale of the home.