A disbarred lawyer who's already facing charges for allegedly stealing $1.2 million from a disabled client is now accused of stealing from an elderly former client and spending the money to buy limos and a vintage Corvette, Nassau prosecutors said Monday.
Janice Jessup, 68, surrendered Monday to face new felony charges of grand larceny, criminal possession of a forged instrument and falsifying business records.
The Nassau district attorney's office said she stole more than $85,000 from a woman who, at 85, hired Jessup in 2008 to help get a reverse mortgage on her Roosevelt home.
Jessup, who lives in Baldwin and Charlotte, North Carolina, declined to comment on the new allegations while leaving Hempstead district court after her arraignment. A judge released her on her own recognizance, ordering her to keep wearing a GPS monitoring device she was given in her earlier case.
Jessup is free on $50,000 bond after her arrest in April, when she pleaded not guilty to an indictment charging grand larceny and scheme to defraud.
Prosecutors alleged then that Jessup, who also goes by a married surname of Jones, stole money from a physically and mentally disabled client who had owned land that was taken by the government, through eminent domain, and used to build New Cassel's Yes We Can Community Center. Authorities claimed Jessup never gave that client the money the government paid out. In 2010, an appellate court disbarred Jessup after she had faced more than a dozen professional misconduct allegations.
Her arraignment attorney, Joseph Norton, referred a request for comment Monday to the defendant's attorney, Ira Weissman. Weissman later declined to comment.
Acting District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement that "stealing from the elderly is especially despicable," and her office would aggressively prosecute Jessup.
In the new case, prosecutors are alleging Jessup in 2011 got a power of attorney "purportedly bearing the signature" of the reverse mortgage client. Jessup then filed an application in the unidentified victim's name with Wells Fargo bank asking for a line of credit, according to authorities.
The defendant also gave a document to the bank falsely saying that the woman still lived in her Roosevelt home, but she had been in a nursing home since 2008, prosecutors said.
Jessup then stole more than $47,000 from a bank credit line and other money from the victim, the district attorney's office said.
Prosecutors claim Jessup spent the money on herself, her husband at the time, and his business, Legacy Limousines. They also alleged she forged a $3,500 check payable to the business.
She is due back in court Friday.