Former Crowell & Moring counsel Douglas R. Arnsten has agreed to be extradited from Hong Kong to face charges in New York that he stole millions of dollars from client escrow funds. A spokeswoman for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said yesterday that Mr. Arnsten, 33, will return to New York to answer charges stemming from the misappropriation of funds from Regal Real Estate, a major client of Crowell & Moring.
Mr. Arnsten, who left Crowell & Moring effective Sept. 12, was arrested in Hong Kong, where he fled after failing to appear at a meeting with the managing partner of Regal. At the meeting, set for a downtown street corner, Mr. Arnsten was supposed to return some of the missing money. But Regal had made arrangements with the district attorney and police, who were waiting to arrest the lawyer for larceny. Regal sued Crowell & Moring for $5.5 million in missing escrow money on Sept. 23, claiming failure to supervise Mr. Arnsten and failure “to maintain adequate checks and controls over escrow accounts” (NYLJ, Sept. 26).
“We can confirm that Crowell & Moring intends to honor its obligations in this matter and we are in discussions with Regal to resolve the issue to everyone’s satisfaction,” a firm spokeswoman said yesterday.