Lawyer ac­cused of drain­ing es­tate, buy­ing Su­per Bowl tick­ets with clients’ money

The Morning Call - - LOCAL NEWS - By Pe­ter Hall

Eas­ton — An Eas­ton lawyer is charged with steal­ing more than $400,000 from the es­tate of a New Jersey man whose chil­dren hired him to put their fa­ther’s af­fairs in or­der.

In ad­di­tion to de­posit­ing money from the es­tate into his per­sonal and law firm check­ing ac­counts, fed­eral pros­e­cu­tors al­lege at­tor­ney An­gelo Per­rucci Jr. used the dead man’s money to treat him­self to tick­ets for the Ea­gles 2018 Su­per Bowl ap­pear­ance in Min­neapo­lis.

Per­rucci, 55, who lives in Ban­gor but has a law of­fice on Wal­nut Street in Eas­ton, is charged with five counts of wire fraud for al­legedly is­su­ing and de­posit­ing fraud­u­lent checks and mis­lead­ing the vic­tim’s chil­dren.

“At­tor­neys of any kind, pub­lic or pri­vate, take an oath to act in ac­cor­dance with the law — not to use their law li­cense to steal. My of­fice will con­tinue to root out the type of con­duct that is al­leged here,” U.S. At­tor­ney Wil­liam McSwain said in a state­ment.

Court records do not list an at­tor­ney for Per­rucci. A tele­phone num­ber listed for Per­rucci was dis­con­nected and he did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to a mes­sage left at his law of­fice.

Ac­cord­ing to an in­dict­ment charg­ing Per­rucci, the chil­dren of the dead man, who is iden­ti­fied only by the ini­tials P.D., re­tained Per­rucci in 2015 to put to­gether their fa­ther’s es­tate, in­clud­ing sell­ing his prop­er­ties and dis­burs­ing the money to his heirs. Per­rucci agreed to charge his clients $300 an hour or a max­i­mum of $7,500, which they had al­ready paid as a re­tainer.

P.D. died with­out a will in Jan­uary 2016 in New Jersey, where he lived. Per­rucci was ap­pointed the ad­min­is­tra­tor of P.D.’s es­tate, the in­dict­ment says.

Ac­cord­ing to the in­dict­ment, be­tween April 2016 and Jan­uary, Per­rucci de­posited money into an es­tate ac­count from P.D.’s check­ing, in­vest­ment and in­sur­ance ac­counts and overseas bank ac­counts. From the es­tate ac­count, he wrote more than 80 checks that he de­posited into his law firm’s op­er­at­ing ac­count, pay­roll ac­count and his per­sonal bank ac­counts, pros­e­cu­tors al­lege.

In Fe­bru­ary, Per­rucci told P.D.’s chil­dren in a tele­phone call that he es­ti­mated he had taken $30,000 from the es­tate and ex­pected to take an ad­di­tional $30,000. At the time, Per­rucci had taken about $344,250, the in­dict­ment says. In the phone call, he also promised P.D.’s chil­dren that he would no­tify them be­fore tak­ing any more money, but ac­tu­ally wrote an­other seven checks to­tal­ing $42,000 with­out no­ti­fy­ing his clients, the in­dict­ment says.

Dur­ing a se­cond phone call with P.D.’s chil­dren in April, he agreed to pro­vide a bank state­ment for the es­tate ac­count and an ac­count­ing of the money he had taken and dis­bursed on be­half of the es­tate. P.D.’s chil­dren never re­ceived the bank state­ment, the in­dict­ment says.

Also dur­ing the April phone call, Per­rucci told P.D.’s chil­dren that money from the sale of P.D.’s home at the Jersey shore were be­ing held in a trust ac­count and could not be re­leased, when he had al­legedly trans­ferred some of the money into the es­tate ac­count and taken $32,500 for him­self.

The in­dict­ment says that al­though Per­rucci was the ad­min­is­tra­tor of P.D.’s es­tate for more than three years, he never sold P.D.’s pri­mary res­i­dence and failed to col­lect nearly $100,000 from an in­vest­ment ac­count.

If con­victed, Per­rucci faces a max­i­mum pos­si­ble sen­tence of 100 years in prison. The case was in­ves­ti­gated by the U.S. Postal In­spec­tion Ser­vice, and is be­ing pros­e­cuted by As­sis­tant U.S. At­tor­ney Christo­pher J. Man­nion.

Morn­ing Call re­porter Pe­ter Hall can be reached at 610-8206581 or pe­[email protected]

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.