Ghenya Grant is pictured here while serving as a Wyandanch Public...

Ghenya Grant is pictured here while serving as a Wyandanch Public Library board trustee at a meeting in March 2023. A court recently suspended Grant's law license and Nassau prosecutors are investigating the matter that led to her suspension. Credit: Barry Sloan

A court has suspended the law license of a Wyandanch community leader after finding she made nearly $79,000 in “improper ATM withdrawals and debit cards purchases” from an escrow account — a matter prosecutors said they're investigating.

The suspension of Ghenya Grant's law license after the state appellate court's January decision has led to a criminal investigation by the Nassau County district attorney's office, spokesman Brendan Brosh said.

Grant, 53, didn't respond to requests for comment. Attorney Derrick Magwood, who represented Grant in the disciplinary matter related to her law license, also didn't respond to Newsday inquiries.

The Jan. 4 decision from the First Judicial Department of the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division said Grant's law license will remain suspended “until further order of this court.”

Grant was listed in state records as running her own Manhattan-based law office before her suspension.

The ruling against Grant, who became a state bar member in 2000, involved a 2017 foreclosure sale she handled as a court referee. In November 2021, a court order vacated that sale and instructed Grant to return a $79,000 down payment to the property's intended purchaser. But that person couldn't get the money back, according to the court decision, and in May 2022 filed a complaint with an attorney grievance committee.

The committee sent eight letters and emails to Grant between August and December of 2022 asking Grant to answer the complaint and warning that her failure to answer could result in a law license suspension, according to the court decision. It said Grant sought “multiple extensions” of time, alleging a medical condition prevented her from answering the complaint.

The committee asked for medical documentation before Grant submitted a letter from a physician assistant that said she suffered from “recurrent Migraine Headaches causing work limitations” and was “waiting for an upcoming Neurologist appointment for evaluation and treatment,” the court decision said.

Grant, who previously served on the Wyandanch Public Library board for more than two decades, either led or attended meetings at the facility at least a half dozen times during that time period in 2022, according to meeting minutes.

The committee found the letter insufficient and demanded Grant answer the complaint by Jan. 25, 2023. She responded that day by saying she had been attending to sick family members, had a death in her family and was ill herself, the court ruling said.

It also said Grant told the committee she hadn't handled referee matters “for quite some time,” that the lapse of time put her at a disadvantage because she had been displaced from her office and files had been damaged “due to flooding/smoke etc.,” and that she had changed electronic devices.

The committee demanded she turn over copies of her escrow account bank statements, or the account number, but Grant never provided the information, according to the court decision. It said Grant didn't show up after she was subpoenaed to appear before the committee in March 2023 for questioning under oath.

The court decision also said the committee found Grant’s account records and they showed she had made “improper ATM withdrawals and debit card purchases from her escrow account that repeatedly invaded the … down payment.”

As of Dec. 10, 2019, the account’s balance was $6.53, according to the court ruling.

The bank statements and the court order directing Grant to return the down payment “constitute uncontroverted evidence that she failed to safeguard and maintain the funds and instead converted them by making repeated ATM withdrawals and debit card purchases,” the court decision also said.

Grant argued she didn't have a negative disciplinary history and was an attorney in good standing, according to the ruling.

But the court concluded in its decision that Grant’s failure to cooperate with the investigation and to appear before the committee was “sufficient grounds for an immediate suspension.” The ruling doesn't indicate if Grant made efforts later to return the money.

Grant has been a Democratic Committee member in the Town of Babylon for more than two decades, and her term expires this year, according to Babylon Town Supervisor and Suffolk Democratic Party leader Rich Schaffer.

“Clearly now with her being investigated by the DA's office, she's going to have to be more concerned with that than serving as a committee person,” Schaffer said, adding that he was “sad to hear” of Grant's law license suspension.

“I've known her a long time and I knew her to be a bright young woman when she graduated from law school,” Schaffer said.

Last week, the board of the Greater Wyandanch Chamber of Commerce, which Grant cofounded, accepted her resignation as president, interim president Reggie Mays said.

A court has suspended the law license of a Wyandanch community leader after finding she made nearly $79,000 in “improper ATM withdrawals and debit cards purchases” from an escrow account — a matter prosecutors said they're investigating.

The suspension of Ghenya Grant's law license after the state appellate court's January decision has led to a criminal investigation by the Nassau County district attorney's office, spokesman Brendan Brosh said.

Grant, 53, didn't respond to requests for comment. Attorney Derrick Magwood, who represented Grant in the disciplinary matter related to her law license, also didn't respond to Newsday inquiries.

The Jan. 4 decision from the First Judicial Department of the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division said Grant's law license will remain suspended “until further order of this court.”

Grant was listed in state records as running her own Manhattan-based law office before her suspension.

The ruling against Grant, who became a state bar member in 2000, involved a 2017 foreclosure sale she handled as a court referee. In November 2021, a court order vacated that sale and instructed Grant to return a $79,000 down payment to the property's intended purchaser. But that person couldn't get the money back, according to the court decision, and in May 2022 filed a complaint with an attorney grievance committee.

The committee sent eight letters and emails to Grant between August and December of 2022 asking Grant to answer the complaint and warning that her failure to answer could result in a law license suspension, according to the court decision. It said Grant sought “multiple extensions” of time, alleging a medical condition prevented her from answering the complaint.

The committee asked for medical documentation before Grant submitted a letter from a physician assistant that said she suffered from “recurrent Migraine Headaches causing work limitations” and was “waiting for an upcoming Neurologist appointment for evaluation and treatment,” the court decision said.

Grant, who previously served on the Wyandanch Public Library board for more than two decades, either led or attended meetings at the facility at least a half dozen times during that time period in 2022, according to meeting minutes.

The committee found the letter insufficient and demanded Grant answer the complaint by Jan. 25, 2023. She responded that day by saying she had been attending to sick family members, had a death in her family and was ill herself, the court ruling said.

It also said Grant told the committee she hadn't handled referee matters “for quite some time,” that the lapse of time put her at a disadvantage because she had been displaced from her office and files had been damaged “due to flooding/smoke etc.,” and that she had changed electronic devices.

The committee demanded she turn over copies of her escrow account bank statements, or the account number, but Grant never provided the information, according to the court decision. It said Grant didn't show up after she was subpoenaed to appear before the committee in March 2023 for questioning under oath.

The court decision also said the committee found Grant’s account records and they showed she had made “improper ATM withdrawals and debit card purchases from her escrow account that repeatedly invaded the … down payment.”

As of Dec. 10, 2019, the account’s balance was $6.53, according to the court ruling.

The bank statements and the court order directing Grant to return the down payment “constitute uncontroverted evidence that she failed to safeguard and maintain the funds and instead converted them by making repeated ATM withdrawals and debit card purchases,” the court decision also said.

Grant argued she didn't have a negative disciplinary history and was an attorney in good standing, according to the ruling.

But the court concluded in its decision that Grant’s failure to cooperate with the investigation and to appear before the committee was “sufficient grounds for an immediate suspension.” The ruling doesn't indicate if Grant made efforts later to return the money.

Grant has been a Democratic Committee member in the Town of Babylon for more than two decades, and her term expires this year, according to Babylon Town Supervisor and Suffolk Democratic Party leader Rich Schaffer.

“Clearly now with her being investigated by the DA's office, she's going to have to be more concerned with that than serving as a committee person,” Schaffer said, adding that he was “sad to hear” of Grant's law license suspension.

“I've known her a long time and I knew her to be a bright young woman when she graduated from law school,” Schaffer said.

Last week, the board of the Greater Wyandanch Chamber of Commerce, which Grant cofounded, accepted her resignation as president, interim president Reggie Mays said.

WHAT TO KNOW

  • An appellate court has suspended the law license of Wyandanch community leader Ghenya Grant.
  • The decision found she made nearly $79,000 in "improper ATM withdrawals and debit cards purchases" from an escrow account.
  • The Nassau County district attorney’s office is investigating the matter.
  • Last week, Grant resigned as president of the Greater Wyandanch Chamber of Commerce.
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