East Flatbush former-lawyer Gerald Douglas, 52, allegedly stole $85,000 from a 76-year-old Brownsville woman, while he negotiated the sale of her house.
District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said Douglas stopped returning the woman’s phone calls after a down payment of $71,700 was deposited into his account, and he received a $14,000 loan from the woman.
“The victim in this case was allegedly defrauded of a large sum of money by her own attorney, who had a legal duty to protect her interests,” Gonzalez said.
Douglas’ client was forced to get new representation to close the transaction. She received the sale proceeds, but is still without the down payment amount despite multiple attempts to reach Douglas and retrieve the money, Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez said before allegedly stealing the down payment, Douglas asked his client to loan him money, first $6,000 and then $8,000. He allegedly told her he was expecting a rental payment for a property he owned in Flatbush, Brooklyn, though in fact the property had gone into foreclosure five years earlier and he was no longer the owner.
Gonzalez thanked his Public Integrity Bureau for its work, “in seeking to hold the defendant accountable for his alleged criminal act and betrayal of trust.”
Douglas has been charged with grand larceny and was arraigned Friday at Brooklyn Supreme Court, where he was released without bail. He is due to return May 12, 2021.
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