The Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection has paid more than $1.1 million to some of the victims of disbarred lawyer Patrick Reidy, who stole $2.3 million from real estate clients while he owned Excelsior Title in Saratoga Springs.
The Lawyers’ Fund, a state agency funded by lawyer fees rather than taxpayer dollars, paid out $305,971 last year and $63,000 last month to eight of Reidy’s 17 victims. Including monies that the fund paid out in 2010, the total is more than $1.1 million, said the fund’s executive director, Timothy O’Sullivan.
Reidy is responsible for paying that amount back to the fund as restitution.
Authorities had accused Reidy of keeping money that clients got from property sales that was supposed to pay off their mortgages. In some cases, he continued to make the mortgage payments out of the proceeds to hide the fact that the accounts were still open.
One victim discovered the theft when she went to get a new mortgage and was told her previous mortgage hadn’t been paid.
Reidy, of Wilton, was sentenced in January 2011 to five to 15 years in state prison after pleading guilty to felony second-degree grand larceny. The 49-year-old is serving his time in Marcy Correctional Facility near Utica, according to the state Department of Corrections inmate information website.
O’Sullivan said the Lawyers’ Fund has mixed success getting the money back from attorneys after paying their victims.
“We’re fairly active in trying to recover those funds,” he said, adding the fund can garnish wages if the attorney gets out of prison and lands a job.
However, “a lot of time they don’t seem to have a lot of assets when we get involved,” he said.
Last year, statewide, the fund paid out $6.9 million to client victims and collected $1.1 million from the disbarred attorneys.
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Categories: Schenectady County