A lawyer from Annadale is charged with embezzling $2.5 million from a client and flying to China to dodge arrest, according to the Staten Island Advance.
Douglas Arntsen was captured in Hong Kong on Sept. 15, and is awaiting extradition to New York, where he had been working for an international law firm in Manhattan.
A spokeswoman for his firm Crowell & Moring told the Advance yesterday that Arntsen quit the firm on Sept. 12, the day before the Manhattan district attorney’s office told the company he was being investigated for possible misappropriation of a client’s funds.
At issue is $2.5 million that had been placed in escrow for a company client called Regal Real Estate. Arntsen allegedly told his client he took the money and would repay it. Authorities said he took the client to two Manhattan banks on Sept. 13 and reportedly withdrew $1.8 million for repayment, then said they should fly to Hong Kong for the rest of the cash.
But Arntsen allegedly left without the client.
Reuters news service said he is charged with first-degree grand larceny, but the Manhattan District Attorney’s office would not confirm that with the Advance.