Efforts are under way to extradite a New York lawyer arrested in Hong Kong for the theft of client escrow funds. Douglas R. Arntsen, a former Crowell & Moring associate, is facing a single charge of first-degree grand larceny after leaving the United States and being arrested on an international warrant last week, a spokeswoman for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said yesterday.

Crowell & Moring was sued for negligence and breach of contract on Friday by one of its clients, Regal Real Estate, which is seeking $6 million in damages, interest, costs and attorney’s fees for the firm’s alleged failure to properly supervise Mr. Arntsen (NYLJ, Sept. 26). According to Regal’s attorney, Bruce H. Lederman of D’Agostino, Levine, Landesman & Lederman, Mr. Arntsen was about to be arrested by authorities at a Sept. 14 meeting in Manhattan with Regal’s managing partner, William Punch, but instead he aborted the meeting, traveled by train to Philadelphia and then flew to Chicago on his way to Hong Kong.

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