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New York Attorney Pleads Guilty to Tax Fraud Related to Multimillion-Dollar Embezzlement From Deceased Client’s Estate

 

A New York-licensed attorney and former partner at a New York law firm pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to defraud the United States and tax evasion arising from a scheme to embezzle millions of dollars from a deceased client’s estate, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman for the Southern District of New York.

“The fiduciary duty that a lawyer owes to a client is paramount to the practice of law,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman. “The Justice Department will prosecute and seek just punishment against any attorney who victimizes their clients for their own personal gain.”

“As he admitted in court today, Steven Etkind violated the law, the canons of his profession, and the trust of his client by stealing more than $3.5 million from the client’s estate,” said U.S. Attorney Berman. “Etkind now awaits sentencing for his crimes.”

According to court documents and statements made in court, Steven M. Etkind was a partner at a New York law firm’s tax, trusts and estates group and a Certified Public Accountant.  Etkind performed legal work for a successful entrepreneur client, who passed away in 2008, naming Etkind as the co-executor of his $35 million estate.

The client’s will directed the creation of two charitable trust private foundations, funded with assets from the client’s estate, for the sole purpose of donating to 501(c)(3) charitable organizations, including those aimed at assisting Jewish-sponsored organizations.  Etkind was named co-trustee of these trusts. Read more

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New York Attorney Pleads Guilty to Tax Fraud Related to Multimillion-Dollar Embezzlement From Deceased Client’s Estate

New York Attorney Pleads Guilty to Tax Fraud Related to Multimillion-Dollar Embezzlement From Deceased Client’s Estate