Nassau prosecutors accused a Rockville Centre attorney of stealing as much as $200,000 from the estate of a man who died 16 years ago.
Joel Post, 58, was arrested Wednesday and charged with grand larceny. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment at First District Court in Hempstead. He faces up to 15 years if convicted.
Post was appointed in 1997 as co-administrator for the estate of a former New York man who died in France in 1993, making him responsible for negotiating claims against the estate, collecting estate assets as well as paying the estate’s federal and state estate and income taxes, prosecutors said.
He set up an account in 2001 for the estate’s assets so he could pay the taxes and on Sept. 29, 2005, Post reported depositing $286,000 into the account, prosecutors said. But a year later, Post’s co-administrator learned that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was claiming large amounts of unpaid back taxes and the co-administrator learned that Post had not paid payments to the IRS aside from one $50,000 payment in early 2006, prosecutors said.
Post, after numerous demands made by his co-administrator, provided a document entitled “Transactions by Account,” which purportedly listed numerous deposits and payments made from March 6, 2001 to July 25, 2007 and listed a balance of more than $231,000 prosecutors said. But when the co-administrator tried to verify the information with the bank, he was told that the account had a balance of only $4.
“We believe that Mr. Post used the estate of an innocent deceased man to pad his own wallet,” Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said in a statement. “My office will aggressively prosecute any attorney who abuses the trust their clients place in them.”