Former real estate attorney Mitchell Kossoff was sentenced to more than four years in prison Friday for stealing nearly $15 million from his clients.
The 68-year-old Kossoff was sentenced to 4.5 to 13.5 years after pleading guilty.
“When clients hire counsel to represent them, they expect their attorney will follow the highest ethical standards. Yet Mitchell Kossoff violated the fundamental trust of his clients by taking millions for himself,” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement.
Kossoff pleaded guilty in December to grand larceny in the first, second and third degrees, along with scheming to defraud in the first degree.
He was recently disbarred when New York’s Appellate Division, First Department ruled that he could no longer practice law in the state.
A well-known attorney who worked with landlords including Steve Croman’s 9300 Realty and Larry Gluck’s Stellar Management before his abrupt disappearance last year, Kossoff admitted to stealing $14.6 million from at least 35 individuals or companies starting in late 2017.
In several instances, he asked clients to deposit money into escrow so he could use those funds to pay back other clients. Kossoff used the money to prop up a failing family business and to fund a lavish lifestyle, including renting a $19,000-a-month Manhattan apartment and sustaining a $500-a-day credit card habit.
As part of his sentencing, Kossoff was ordered to repay his clients.