In the Matter of Richard John Barrett An Attorney At Law
Docket No. XIV-2016-0599E
Argued: January 17, 2019
Racz appeared on behalf of the Office of Attorney Ethics.
Respondent waived appearance for oral argument.
A. Brodsky, Chief Counsel
Disciplinary Review Board Bonnie C. Frost, Chair
Honorable Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme
Court of New Jersey.
matter was before us on a motion for final discipline filed
by the Office of Attorney Ethics (OAE), pursuant to R.
1:20-13(c)(2), following respondent's guilty plea to one
count of petit larceny, a class A misdemeanor, in violation
of N, Y. State Penal Law § 155.25 (Consol. 1967). The
OAE seeks respondent's disbarment.
reasons set forth below, we determine to grant the motion and
recommend respondent's disbarment for the knowing
misappropriation of $170, 000 in escrow funds.
was admitted to both the New Jersey and New York bars in
1999. At the relevant times, he maintained an office for the
practice of law in Staten Island, New York. He has no history
of discipline in New Jersey.
February 27, 2019, the Supreme Court of New York, Appellate
Division, Second Judicial Department disbarred respondent for
"intentional misappropriation" and theft of $170,
000 in escrow funds, among other things. In re
Barrett, ___N.Y.S.2d___ (N.Y. App. Div 2019) (2019 NY
Slip. Op. 01406).
August 4, 2015, respondent was charged with nine criminal
offenses, including one count of petit larceny, a class A
misdemeanor, arising from his January 8, 2015 deposit of a
$125, 000 check into an "escrow account" maintained
at Victory State Bank, in connection with his representation
of Robert Beagan. On May 12, 2015, respondent issued a
Victory State Bank check in the same amount. Two days later,
the check was returned for insufficient funds. The detective
who filed the criminal charges had examined respondent's
business records and learned that, as of May 1, 2015, the
Victory State Bank escrow account balance was only $920.97.
On the last day of the month, the account was empty.
March 21, 2017, consistent with a plea agreement between
respondent and the Richmond County District Attorney's
Office, he pleaded guilty to one count of petit larceny, a
class A misdemeanor, based on two incidents. The first was
respondent's dissipation of $125, 000, which his client
Robert Beagan had given to respondent, in connection with
Robert's divorce from Mary Beagan. The second
incident involved respondent's use of $45, 000, which, as
the attorney for the Estate of John Eppolito,  ...