MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced that a Plainview attorney will no longer be able to practice law after pleading guilty today to stealing client funds to pay off personal and professional expenses and obligations instead of depositing the funds into his escrow account.
Matthew Kogan, 40, pleaded guilty to Grand Larceny in the 3rd Degree (a D felony) before Nassau Supreme Court Justice George Peck. He is due back in court for sentencing on Sept. 10.
As a result of his felony plea, Kogan will no longer be able to practice law. Kogan has repaid the $32,500 he stole from his victims.
“This defendant stole from clients who put their trust in him to look out for their best interests,” DA Rice said. “Instead, he did the opposite, and as a result, he will no longer be able to practice law and put other clients at risk.”
DA Rice said a Brooklyn husband and wife hired Kogan in February 2013 to represent them in a breach of contract lawsuit. The case was eventually settled in the amount of $32,500, which should have been deposited in his Attorney Trust Account and the funds paid to the couple.
Instead, the money was deposited into Kogan’s operating account on Oct. 7, 2013. From Oct. 7, 2013 to Dec. 31, 2013, funds were withdrawn and/or paid from the operating account for Kogan’s personal and professional expenses and obligations – including payroll, credit card and loan payments.
In November 2013, the couple filed a complaint with DA Rice’s Criminal Complaint Unit. DA investigators arrested Kogan in April 2014.
Assistant District Attorney Marshall Trager, chief of DA Rice’s Government & Consumer Affairs Bureau, is prosecuting the case. Kogan is represented by Robert McDonald, Esq.