An Islip attorney who Nassau prosecutors said stole $40,000 of her clients’ down payment for a home they were selling in Broad Channel, Queens, was arraigned on a grand larceny charge Monday, officials said.
Nancy Enoksen, 49, whose license to practice law was suspended in April 2015, was being held on $20,000 bond or $10,000 cash after she was arraigned in First District Court in Hempstead before Judge Scott Siller, according to a news release issued by Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas.
Enoksen’s attorney, Michael Alber of Commack, said she is innocent and the missing money is the result of a clerical error by Enoksen, not an intent to steal funds.
“She entered a plea of not guilty,” Alber said, adding that she was free on bail. “This involves a clear case of no crime. There is not a shadow of a doubt that no crime happened here.”
Enoksen is due back in court on Wednesday, court records and officials said.
She faces one count of third-degree grand larceny, a D felony, punishable by 2 1⁄3 to 7 years in prison.
“Attorneys who betray their clients’ trust and victimize those whose interests they have an obligation to protect, disgrace their profession and when they steal, we will hold them criminally accountable,” Singas said in a statement.
Prosecutors accuse Enoksen of moving $40,000 from her mortgage escrow account into an operating account and using the money earmarked as a down payment from her clients’ buyers for her own expenses, including to pay “several credit card companies and make purchases at Stop and Shop, CVS, restaurants and other retailers.”
Prosecutors said Enoksen declined to release the $40,000 to her former clients’ new attorney by the closing in June of 2016, adding that their attempts to get the money back were unsuccessful.
Enoksen is also facing second-degree grand larceny and first-degree falsifying business records charges in a separate case in which prosecutors accuse her of stealing $185,000.
Alber said Enoksen is eager to clear her name in that case as well, which he said began as a dispute over payment for her legal services.
Enoksen was arrested in March 2015 on charges of stealing $185,000 from an escrow account holding $400,000 of a Bellmore woman’s personal injury settlement, said prosecutors. They said that Enoksen withdrew money from her client’s account between August 2013 and April 2014 to support her practice and for personal expenses.
Enoksen is due in court on Sept. 18 in that case, court records show.