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Long Island

Real estate lawyer pleads guilty to stealing $350,000 from clients, Suffolk DA says

A Long Island real estate lawyer has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $350,000 from his clients, including $300,000 belonging to a man in his 80s, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office.

Peter Rand, 57, of North Massapequa, copped to grand larceny in the second and third degrees, according to the office, which said he used the money for "various personal and business expenses, including retail purchases, dining," and a car purchase.

Under a plea bargain, he’s to be sentenced to two to six years in prison if he doesn’t make the remaining restitution of $243,236.39, the office said. The judge on the case is Acting Suffolk County Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho.

A message left with Rand’s lawyer, listed in online court records as Matthew Brendan Tuohy, was not immediately returned.

The DA's office release said that Rand had been designated trustee of the man in his 80s’ irrevocable trust, sold real estate put in the trust, and between 2014 and 2015 stole about $300,000 from the trust, which contained the sale proceeds, "by either writing checks to himself from the trust or by depositing some of the proceeds of the real estate sale into his own escrow account, then writing checks to himself or making cash withdrawals."

Then, "after stealing the funds, Rand repaid approximately $111,000 to the trust," the news release said.

Publicity surrounding Rand’s indictment in January led other victims to complain to the DA’s office, and Rand was found to have stolen an additional $51,536.39 from four more victims.

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