In the Matter of Pincus D. Carlebach, (admitted as Pincus David Carlebach), an attorney and counselor-at-law: Attorney Grievance Committee for the First Judicial Department, Petitioner, Pincus D. Carlebach, Respondent.
proceedings instituted by the Attorney Grievance Committee
for the First Judicial Department. Respondent, Pincus D.
Carlebach, was admitted to the Bar of the State of New York
at a Term of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court for
the Second Department on February 27, 1991.
Dopico, Chief Attorney, Attorney Grievance Committee, New
York (Naomi F. Goldstein, of counsel), for petitioner.
Respondent appears pro se.
Pincus D. Carlebach was admitted to the practice of law in
the State of New York by the Second Judicial Department on
February 27, 1991, under the name Pincus David Carlebach. At
all times relevant to this proceeding, respondent maintained
a registered address within the First Judicial Department.
Attorney Grievance Committee (the Committee) moves for an
order pursuant to the Rules for Attorney Disciplinary Matters
(22 NYCRR) 1240.9(a)(5), immediately suspending respondent
from the practice of law until further order of this Court
based on uncontroverted evidence of professional misconduct,
namely, that he converted and/or misappropriated third-party
funds in connection with a bankruptcy related real estate
transaction, and which misconduct immediately threatens the
public interest. Respondent, pro se, opposes the
Committee's investigation arises from a complaint that
alleged respondent had failed to refund a down payment in a
canceled real estate transaction. In 2017, the buyer entered
into a contract to purchase real estate from a debtor in a
bankruptcy proceeding. Respondent, who represented the
seller, acted as escrowee in the transaction. On March 10,
2017, a down payment of $1 million was wired into
respondent's IOLA account in connection with the contract
of sale. The buyer later exercised its right to terminate the
contract and demanded return of its down payment.
2017, respondent returned $200, 000 of the down payment. The
buyer's attorney then demanded respondent immediately
return the remaining balance. In August 2017, respondent
returned an additional $25, 000, but no further funds were
received thereafter. In August 2017, the Committee obtained
respondent's IOLA account records for the period of
January to July 2017. The records showed that respondent
began making withdrawals after the down payment was received,
falling below $1 million on March 16, 2017, and continuing to
fall to only $18, 092.64 as of July 31, 2017. Neither the
buyer nor its counsel authorized respondent to disburse any
portion of the $1 million down payment.
about August 2017, the Committee served respondent with a
judicial subpoena directing him to produce certain business
and IOLA account records in accordance with rule 1.15(d)(1)
of the Rules of Professional Conduct (22 NYCRR 1200.0). In
September 2017, respondent's former counsel emailed the
Committee bank statements for respondent's IOLA account
and business accounts, but did not provide the additional
pro se, opposes the motion and requests it be denied and
dismissed, alleging that the buyer has unclean hands by never
intending to close the sale at issue. Further, respondent
alleges he prevented the buyer's fraudulent scheme to
have the bankruptcy court cancel the contract so that the
buyer would receive a "breakup fee" of $400, 000,
but does not address his conversion/misappropriation of the
that the bank's records presented by the Committee, which
respondent has failed to address adequately, demonstrate that
he converted and/or misappropriated approximately $800, 000
of the buyer's down payment, and that this conduct
immediately threatens the public interest (see e.g.
Matter of Kiss, 152 A.D.3d 129');">152 A.D.3d 129 [1st Dept 2017];
Matter of Karan, 149 A.D.3d 14');">149 A.D.3d 14 [1st Dept 2017];
Matter of Lessoff, 142 A.D.3d 107');">142 A.D.3d 107 [1st Dept 2016]).
the Committee's motion should be granted and respondent
suspended from the practice of law in the State of New York
pursuant to 1240.9(a)(5), effective immediately, and until
further order of this Court.