An attorney with a Jericho practice was arrested Friday on charges of stealing more than $185,000 from a client to spend on personal expenses, the Nassau district attorney's office said.
Nancy Enoksen, 46, of Islip, stole the funds from a $400,000 personal injury settlement that her client had her place in an escrow account, prosecutors said. Between Aug. 19, 2013, and last April, she used the money to support her Jericho practice and personal expenses, they said.
Enoksen pleaded not guilty at her arraignment on second-degree larceny. She was released on certain conditions.
Her attorney Michael Alber of Commack said he expects Enoksen to be "completely" exonerated.
"Miss Enoksen is a well-respected matrimonial attorney," Alber said. "No theft occurred. The money is there. We plan on vigorously defending her case in court."
Alber declined to say where the money was, but emphasized that "she is not in need of money. She is not in dire circumstances."
According to prosecutors, the victim, a Bellmore woman, had used Enoksen on two other matters, and although Enoksen did not represent her in the personal injury case, the client trusted her.
The attorney had the bills and the escrow statement sent to her office, authorities said, and the victim eventually noticed the theft.
"No client should have to worry about an attorney profiting from a privileged position for financial gain," acting District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement.
If convicted, Enoksen faces up to 5 to 15 years in prison, prosecutors said.