A lawyer who cheated the federal government out of millions of dollars and then directed a client to destroy documents in an attempt to cover up his scheme has been disbarred. In 2009, attorney Steven M. Coren pleaded guilty in Eastern District of New York federal court to skimming funds that his clients — contractors working on public housing and infrastructure projects — were legally obligated to pay laborers under the federal Davis-Bacon Act and state Labor Law.

To create the illusion that he was complying with prevailing wage laws, Coren, of Manhattan-based Coren & Associates, had his clients place monies supposedly intended for employee benefits in a special trust. The funds were then pocketed by the lawyer and his clients, who submitted bogus payroll documents to the contracting public agencies. At his plea allocution Coren, who was sentenced to 30 months in prison in February, admitted that he had advised a client to destroy a computer flash drive that could have been used in a federal investigation.

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