Zugibe says lawyer Grossbarth stole from clients
District Attorney Thomas P. Zugibe Wednesday announced that Joel Grossbarth, age 51, of New City, has been arrested and arraigned for allegedly stealing $70,000 from medical malpractice clients.
Grossbarth has been charged with Grand Larceny, Criminal Possession of a forged Instrument, and two counts of offering a False Instrument for Filing. The defendant is accused of stealing $70,000 in July of 2010, from a couple who retained his representation in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
District Attorney Zugibe said, “The defendant in this case is accused of betraying his clients. Having already been injured by the negligent acts of others, this unsuspecting couple was again victimized by their lawyer. This arrest should serve as a warning to unscrupulous professionals who seek prey on their clients.”
According to charges, the victims received a check in the mail for $70,000, and brought it to Grossbarth’s attention, as they did not want to settle for less then $350,000.
It is alleged that Grossbarth told the couple he would return the check to the opposing party. Instead, he allegedly deposited the money into his own account. It is further alleged that the defendant falsely filed a Hold Harmless Agreement and General Release with the Rockland County Clerk, settling the case without knowledge or authority of the victims.
Said Zugibe, “Though we have heard from several more alleged victims of this defendant, we believe additional individuals have been swindled. We urge other clients or former clients who suspect they have been targeted to come forward and seek our help.”
Individuals who believe they have been similarly victimized by Grossbarth should contact 638-5001.
Grossbarth’s arrest resulted from an investigation conducted by the Rockland County Special Investigations Unit. He was arraigned in the Town of Clarkstown Justice Court by the Honorable Rolf Thorsen and released on $25,000 bond. He is due to return to court on March 5, 2012.