N.Y. lawyer used law firm as ‘personal gold mine,’ prosecutors charge

  • Arthur Cohen, 71, charged with using law firm funds to buy diamond jewelry, pay family bills
  • Cohen stole from Gordon & Silber for years, charges say

(Reuters) – A New York lawyer stole more than $1.2 million from his law firm and spent it on a diamond-encrusted Cartier watch, a $57,000 diamond ring, family credit card bills and other personal expenses, Manhattan prosecutors said Wednesday.

Arthur Cohen, 71, was charged with 35 counts including grand larceny, criminal tax fraud, offering a false instrument for filing, falsifying business records and perjury.

Cohen did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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As senior equity partner and treasurer of Manhattan’s now-defunct Gordon & Silber, Cohen used the firm as his “personal gold mine at the expense of his partners and co-workers,” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement.

In addition to the $40,000 diamond watch, ring and other purchases, Cohen allegedly used stolen firm funds for luxury hotel stays, to “service luxury automobiles” and to pay more than $100,000 for his son’s American Express card.

To cover his tracks, Cohen fabricated accounting entries and expense reports, prosecutors said.

The scheme lasted from January 2014 to February 2020, when Cohen was suspended from Gordon & Silber, prosecutors said. The firm demanded he repay at least some of the money, but instead Cohen sued the firm in New York County Supreme Court, according to the D.A.’s office and court records.

Cohen filed documents containing false information in the civil case and committed perjury when he falsely denied stealing from the firm, prosecutors said. That case remained active as of last month.

Leah Kelman, a partner at Herrick Feinstein who is representing Cohen in the civil case, declined to comment.

(Updated with information on an attorney for Cohen.)

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