A now-disbarred Red Bank lawyer faces up to seven years in state prison after pleading guilty yesterday to stealing $300,000 from trust accounts for clients, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor‘s office.
Gary Edelson, 48, formerly of Red Bank, entered his plea to second-degree misapplication of entrusted property in state Superior Court in Freehold yesterday. He is scheduled to be sentenced September 18 by Judge Anthony J. Mellaci Jr.
From a press release issued by the prosecutors’ office:
The investigation revealed that Edelson, whose law practice was located in Red
Bank, N.J., represented multiple clients in real estate transactions between August 2003
and November 2005. During the course of his representation of his clients in these
transactions, Edelson deposited large sums of his clients money into his attorney trust
account. An attorney trust account is an account used to temporarily hold client funds.
The investigation further revealed that instead of disbursing his clients funds in
order to finalize the real estate transactions as Edelson was required to do, Edelson instead
illegally retained and disposed of more than $300,000 which he was holding in trust. The
investigation also revealed that Edelson used funds from his trust account to pay for
personal expenses such as his rent, medical insurance, office expenses, and taxes, and that
he improperly transferred funds from his trust account into his business account.
Edelson consented to a disbarment in 2006 after an investigation into his use of trust accounts by the New Jersey Office of Attorney Ethics.
Here’s the full press release: Download 051109