Yesterday, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office reported that Paul Richard Karan, age 81, had pleaded guilty to grand larceny from multiple families trusts accounts. He admitted stealing over $2.6 million dollars from his unsuspecting clients who trusted him. Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr. stated that Karan "systematically drained his victim's trusts and estates funds over a period of more than a decade". Karan used the money to pay personal expenses, vacations and country club dues.
The first client who became aware of the theft reported Karan to the First Department's Grievance Committee who ordered the immediate suspension of Karan's license to practice law in February 2017 when he refused to rebut the charge of theft relying on his fifth amendment rights. He was disbarred in November 2017 when he again refused to cooperate with the Grievance Committee. He will be sentenced in March and is looking at up to 6 years in prison. New York maintains a Victims Compensation Fund that Karan's victims can apply to, in the highly likely event that he lacks the funds to repay his client's. The Victim's Compensation Fund is funded by a mandatory fee imposed on every lawyer in New York State when they renew their bi-annual registration.This fund was specifically targeted to benefit the victim's of attorney misconduct where their is no insurance coverage or personal assets available to compensate the client.