Mitch Kossoff, the prominent New York real estate attorney who went AWOL earlier this year with millions of his clients’ dollars, will surrender to authorities and plead guilty to unspecified charges.
A prosecutor in Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance’s office told the judge overseeing the bankruptcy case for Kossoff’s law firm that the attorney will turn himself in for arrest on Dec. 3.
Through his attorney, Kossoff has “reached an agreement regarding a guilty plea” with the DA’s office, assistant district attorney Catherine McCaw wrote in a letter to judge David Jones Tuesday.
Kossoff ran a law practice that catered to some of the biggest multifamily landlords in the city, such as Steve Croman and Larry Gluck. He was known both for his confrontational approach and his intimate knowledge of New York’s rent stabilization and loft laws.But after a series of reports of erratic behavior this year, he abruptly cut off contact with clients who had requested return of money he was holding in escrow.
By April, Kossoff had stopped returning calls from clients and even the attorneys at his own firm. At the time, he was holding about $10 million worth of funds in escrow that couldn’t be accounted for.
The firm’s clients filed to throw the company into involuntary bankruptcy, and over the summer the trustee in the case tried to find out exactly what had happened. The bankruptcy was complicated by the fact that the Manhattan DA’s office and federal prosecutors had active investigations running.
Kossoff participated in the bankruptcy case but refused to turn over key documents. When he appeared at a virtual hearing, he kept his computer’s camera turned off. The judge had warned that he would hold Kossoff in contempt.