Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini has announced the guilty plea of a Long Island real estate attorney for stealing more than $350,000 from his clients, including approximately $300,000 from an elderly victim.
Peter Rand, 57, of North Massapequa, pleaded guilty yesterday to Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, and Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony.
“This is a case that began with just one identified victim, but thanks to the diligence of the prosecutors and investigators on this case with assistance from the media in shedding light on his criminal activity, we were able to pull that thread and unravel a larger scheme involving multiple clients,” District Attorney Sini said. “These victims entrusted the defendant with large sums of money as their real estate attorney, but he violated their trust, his professional duties, and the law. This is an excellent result that ensures that he is held accountable for stealing from his clients for his own personal gain.”
Rand was designated as a trustee of an irrevocable trust created by one of his clients, who is a male in his 80s. The victim placed real estate in the trust which was subsequently sold by Rand. Between April 1, 2014, and Feb. 3, 2015, Rand stole more than $300,000 from the irrevocable trust, which contained the proceeds from the sale of the real estate, by either writing checks to himself from the trust or by depositing some of the proceeds of the real estate sale into his own escrow account, then writing checks to himself or making cash withdrawals. After stealing the funds, Rand repaid approximately $111,000 to the trust.
Following media coverage of his indictment in January 2020, several additional clients of Rand’s contacted the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office to report being victimized. An investigation revealed that between Aug. 22, 2016, and Aug. 5, 2019, Rand stole a total of $51,536.39 from four additional victims whom he had represented for real estate transactions.
Rand spent the stolen funds on various personal and business expenses, including retail purchases, dining, and the purchase of a car.
Rand is scheduled to be sentenced by Acting Suffolk County Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho on Dec. 9. Pursuant to the plea agreement, Rand is required to pay the remaining restitution to his victims in the amount of $243,236.39. If he fails to do so, he faces a sentence of two to six years in prison.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Donna Planty, of the Financial Investigations & Money Laundering Bureau.