Long Beach attorney Susan Odery was disbarred by an Appellate Division, Second Department panel on May 14 for stealing escrow funds, among other misconduct.
The Grievance Committee for the Tenth Judicial District brought 11 charges against Odery last June, alleging that she converted client funds, co-mingled personal and client funds and altered a check, which she then submitted to the Grievance Committee. The Second Department suspended her in October.
Odery did not answer the petition against her.
Odery was also arrested in March and charged with third degree larceny for allegedly stealing more than $16,000 in escrow funds (NYLJ, March 20). She pleaded not guilty.
The funds were supposed to be paid as taxes from the closing of a deal in 2012. Odery submitted a check to the state, but it was returned for insufficient funds, and her client was penalized for the failure to pay taxes. The criminal charges are still pending.
The Grievance Committee started its investigation over Odery’s work on an apparently unrelated closing in 2006.
Raiser & Kenniff, the law firm representing Odery in the criminal case, put out a press release in March saying that the allegations against her may show negligence but not criminal liability. It also said that Odery had recently fallen victim to numerous misfortunes, including losing her home during Hurricane Irene in 2011, her mother-in-law dying of pneumonia and both her parents being diagnosed with cancer.
Daniel Mitola represents the Grievance Committee.
The case is Matter of Odery, 2013-07327.