A Suffolk County lawyer was arrested Friday on charges that he and an accomplice ran a six-year scheme to steal $2 million in settlement money from a wrongful death suit that was supposed to be bequeathed to the daughter of a man who died while in police custody.
Vincent Trimarco Jr., 48, of Smithtown, was hit with a 19-count indictment that includes charges of money laundering, mail fraud and wire fraud, as well as related conspiracy charges.
The indictment does not name the man who died while in the custody of the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department or the heir to the settlement, but John Ray of Ray, Mitev & Associates, who represents the heir, confirmed that the wrongful death case pertains to the estate of Scott Eriksen, who died in 2005 while in police custody on a misdemeanor drug charge.
Trimarco worked as an attorney for the Eriksen family, according to the New York Daily News.
According to the indictment and media reports, Eriksen’s estate, for which Gary Eriksen, Eriksen’s father, served as executor, received a $3 million settlement in 2011; a third of the settlement went to Trimarco and the estate’s attorney of record.
In 2012, Eriksen’s daughter filed with the Suffolk County Surrogate’s Court to be the sole heir of her father’s estate. The court found for the daughter and ordered Gary Eriksen to turn the $2 million over to his granddaughter.
But according to Trimarco’s indictment, he and Gary Eriksen spent the money on several properties, shares in a now-defunct Suffolk County nightclub called Emporium and luxury cars, such as a $200,000 Ferrari convertible.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Catherine Mirabile, Raymond Tierney and Charles Kelly of the Eastern District of New York are prosecuting the case against Trimarco. Ray said the case to recover the settlement money is ongoing in surrogate’s court.
— Andrew Denney