A New York closing attorney has been arrested after being charged with stealing nearly $700,000 from an escrow account used to disburse funds.
The Nassau County, N.Y. district attorney announced yesterday that Carl Maza, 49, was arrested and charged with embezzling $694,518.59 from a mortgage banker. The second degree grand larceny charges could land him in jail for up to 15 years.
Maza acted as a closing attorney for Budget Mortgage Bankers, Ltd. from 1995 to 2002, the announcement said. During that period, he conducted 2,700 closings for more than a half billion dollars.
However, around 1999 checks to some of the payees started bouncing, according to the announcement.
The Oceanside, N.Y., lawyer submitted an affidavit in late 2002 tendering his resignation as an attorney and counselor-at-law, an Opinion & Order from New York's Supreme Court said. That document went on to say Maza acknowledged he failed to maintain enough funds in the escrow account, used the funds for personal business and kept interest earned on the escrow accounts.
Maza was released on his own recognizance and is due back in court on June 24.