Disbarred Queens Attorney Michael Lee Stole Millions From His Clients and Their Counterparties In Real Estate Transactions
Disbarred Queens attorney Hyun W. Lee aka Michael Lee pleaded guilty to wire fraud earlier this month. Lee operated a scheme to defraud his real estate clients and their counterparties of funds held in his attorney escrow account. As a result of pleading guilty, Lee faces up to twenty years in prison. Lee has also agreed to pay $3.27 million dollars in forfeiture.
Court filings show Lee misrepresented himself to clients and counterparties that he was a real estate closing attorney. Additionally, he had authority to hold on to funds from real estate transactions. Lee would then release the funds deposited into his escrow account.
In reality, the New York Bar had revoked Lee’s law license. As a result, Lee was not permitted to accept funds from clients or third parties.
Lee also misappropriated these funds and used them for his own benefit. Lee used the funds to gamble at casinos and to pay expenses at a restaurant that he partially owned.
Court records also show Lee misled clients about the status of funds by fabricating documents. These fabricated documents led them to believe their funds were secure.
Lee showed clients documents that showed Lee’s escrow account had a balance of nearly $3 million. However, in reality, Lee had depleted the escrow account down to only approximately $25,000.
Lee ultimately failed to release funds from his escrow account. He falsely claiming that he was in the process of working out an equitable way to distribute funds. However, Lee had already spent virtually all of the funds in the account.
Are You A Victim Of Disbarred Queens Attorney Michael Lee?
Victims who suffered losses as a result of the conduct of Lee, or other New York lawyers who engage in misconduct, may be eligible to receive compensation by filing a claim with the Lawyer’s Fund for Client Protection, which may be reached at (800) 442-3863 or e-mailing email@example.com.
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