Role in Fake Development Leads to Disbarment
A Manhattan attorney has been disbarred following his guilty plea in Manhattan federal court in connection to his role in a real estate scheme. In June, Edward R. Adams pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, a federal felony, before Southern District Judge John Koeltl (See Profile).
In a Dec. 31 ruling, the Appellate Division, First Department disbarred Adams by virtue of the conviction, which, it said "would constitute the New York felony of scheme to defraud in the first degree, an E felony."
In the underlying case, Adams admitted to bilking investors out of $4.7 million that was meant for a condominium development that did not exist.
Adams acted as the escrow agent for the funds and released them to a codefendant, a former New York City police sergeant, even though neither the investors nor the escrow agreement permitted the release (NYLJ, June 12).
The ruling notes "No work has been performed on the purported real estate project and no money has been returned to the investors."
Adams, a graduate of Rutgers University School of Law admitted to the bar in 1979, did not oppose the disciplinary proceedings.
Justices Richard Andrias (See Profile), David Friedman (See Profile), Dianne Renwick (See Profile), Helen Freedman (See Profile) and Paul Feinman (See Profile) decided Matter of Adams, M-4967. The decision is on page 6.