Hudson Valley Lawyer Illegally Received $1.5 Million in Schemes
A Hudson Valley lawyer was sentenced to prison for running a number of illegal schemes to fund his alleged lavish lifestyle.
On Wednesday, in Southern District of New York Court former Orange County attorney Joseph Scali was sentenced to seven years in prison in connection with his conviction for mail fraud, structuring cash transactions, making false statements to the IRS, obstructing the IRS, tax evasion, obstruction of justice and perjury following a four-week jury trial.
“Joseph Scali, a former attorney, was convicted of embezzling $850,000 from his attorney trust account that held third-party funds from an uncompleted real estate transaction. Instead of returning the funds – which he was required to do by law – Scali used them on his personal expenses, including sports tickets and international travel. Scali also filed false tax returns and made false sworn statements to the court," U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said.
According to the indictment, court filings and statements made in public court proceedings:
From January 2011 through August 2012, Scali then a licensed, practicing attorney executed a scheme to defraud a prospective buyer of land and mineral rights in Pennsylvania. He represented the seller in the land transaction and was entrusted to hold the buyer’s funds in his attorney trust account pending closing, which never took place. Instead of preserving the buyer’s funds and returning them when the transaction fell through, Scali embezzled $850,000 of the buyer’s money from his attorney trust account and spent the majority on personal expenses.
He's also accused of defrauding the IRS for a number of years in a number of different schemes.
In addition to the prison term, Scali was ordered to pay restitution totaling $1,511,534.73 to the victims of his mail fraud schemes and the IRS.
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