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Roslyn lawyer pleads guilty to stealing almost $6 million in PayPal funds, Manhattan DA says

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., speaks at

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., speaks at a news conference in New York in February.   Credit: AP/Craig Ruttle

An attorney from Roslyn pleaded guilty to stealing almost $6 million from his company’s PayPal accounts and using the purloined funds to bankroll a lavish lifestyle, Manhattan prosecutors said Thursday.

Leslie Scharf, 52, entered the plea to first-degree grand larceny in state Supreme Court in Manhattan, according to a news release that said he embezzled the funds from Ellison Systems, Inc., which operates as Shoplet, an online office supplies retailer.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 8 to 3 to 9 years in prison. He has paid $757,645.61 in restitution and will pay up to another $700,000 to $750,000 from the proceeds of the sale of his home, prosecutors said.

Scharf’s attorney, Victor Rocco of Manhattan, declined to comment.

“For years, Leslie Scharf exploited his position as general counsel and the exclusive manager of his employer’s PayPal accounts to funnel nearly $6 million into his personal PayPal accounts,” said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance. “Although the massive amount stolen sets this case apart from recent prosecutions of unscrupulous attorneys, the pattern is familiar – the defendant moved the stolen fortune into multiple bank accounts and used it to fund a life of luxury.”

Vance said that from May 2013 to June 2019, Scharf transferred money from the company’s accounts to his personal PayPal account and then to multiple bank accounts and bought “extravagant personal expenses, such as travel, high-end designer shopping, and purchases of a BMW and a Porsche.”

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