Prominent Rockland attorney accused of stealing

Posted: Updated:

A Rockland County lawyer, currently on suspension, is now facing charges for stealing from clients he represented in a medical malpractice case.

Joel Grossbarth is accused of stealing $70,000 from a couple who received a check in that amount from the company they were suing. They say they informed Grossbarth they wanted to settle for more money, and to return the check. Instead, they claim Grossbath deposited it into his own account.Investigators say they believe Grossbarth had a gambling problem. They say he spent the clients' money "as if it were his own." Prosecutors say they have received calls from other potential victims. They're urging anyone who believes they may have been swindled by the New City lawyer to come forward.

Grossbarth is also a lawyer for the villages of Airmont, New Hempstead and Sloatsburg. Grossbarth took a leave of absence from representing the municipalities after his suspension last month when he was hit with misconduct allegations by the state organization that oversees the conduct of attorneys.Grossbarth is not due back in court until March. If convicted of the crimes he's already been charged with, he faces up to 15 years in prison.

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