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Disbarred Bellmore lawyer charged in 2nd theft, DA says

Robert A. Wagner, 63, who had been previously

Robert A. Wagner, 63, who had been previously arrested in September 2016, was released on his own recognizance after being arraigned Thursday, Nov. 17, charged with grand larceny, prosecutors said. Credit: NCDA

A disbarred Bellmore attorney previously arrested in the theft of more than $400,000 from an estate he represented has been charged with stealing more than $500,000 from another estate he had represented, prosecutors said Friday.

Robert A. Wagner, 63, was released on his own recognizance after being arraigned Thursday before Judge Scott Silver, charged with second-degree grand larceny. It was not immediately clear if Wagner, who is due back in court on Dec. 2, entered a plea. He faces 5-to-15 years in prison if convicted.

“This defendant abused the trust placed in him as an attorney and stole more than $500,000 from the estate of a deceased man,” Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement released Friday.

Wagner was first arrested in September and charged with second-degree grand larceny in a separate case.

He was released on $200,000 bail following his arraignment then — and was ordered to wear a tracking monitor, as well as surrender his passport. He faces 5-to-15 years on that charge.

His attorney, Joel R. Weiss of Uniondale, said following the September arraignment: “At this juncture, Bob Wagner has paid every cent back to the beneficiaries.”

Weiss also said Wagner had “surrendered” his law license.

Records, however, showed Wagner had been disbarred on March 11, 2015 — about four months before the thefts were reported to the district attorney’s office.

In September, a spokesman for Singas said the disbarment was not in Nassau and was not related to the case.

Wagner had been retained by the administrator of a French estate “to facilitate the transfer of money” from the Suffolk County-based bank accounts of a decedent to accounts in France in November 2013, Singas said in a statement about the latest arrest.

But, she said, an investigation determined Wagner had transferred estate funds to four of his own accounts in a Nassau-based bank between June 2014 and January, taking more than $500,000 in the process.

Singas said that between May 2014 and April 2015, the French estate administrator “repeatedly attempted to contact Wagner to verify that status” of the fund transfers, but said Wagner gave that administrator “false excuses, saying that he was attending to personal and family health issues, on vacation, or awaiting court approval to transfer funds.”

Singas said Wagner used the money for “personal purposes,” including cash withdrawal in excess of $250,000 — money which, she said, he used “to support his law practice.”

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