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New Jersey legal malpractice: Attorney/author accused of fraud

New Jersey residents may have heard that on Aug. 29, 2013, lawyer turned author Kathleen Niew was taken into custody at her office. The attorney, who also hosts a financial planning radio show, has been charged by the federal government with multiple counts of wire fraud. At her arraignment, she entered a plea of not guilty and was later released after posting bail.

Niew is accused of defrauding one of her clients out of somewhere in the neighborhood of $2.34 million. The couple had entrusted their life savings with their attorney. The funds were supposed to have been used for some commercial real estate transactions the attorney was to close for the couple.

The attorney allegedly took the funds that were deposited into her escrow account and used them to fund some mining operations she invested in from Jan. 2010 through Dec. 2012. Prosecutors believe that Niew was given a finder's fee of about 20 percent in exchange for providing the mining operation with approximately $1.5 million, which she allegedly took from her clients. Records indicate that she told her clients that their money had been misdirected by the bank into the wrong accounts even though no wire transfers were ever initiated by the attorney.

Her now former clients have filed a civil lawsuit against Niew. They are said to be devastated by her alleged fraud scheme, both emotionally and financially. Niew has already been suspended by the bar and now faces the possibility of disbarment in connection with this incident. New Jersey residents who believe they have been defrauded by their attorney have the right to file a grievance and even a lawsuit against that attorney in order to recover the damages incurred as a result of being betrayed by someone they were supposed to be able to trust.

Source: Business Insider, Attorney/Personal Finance Guru Allegedly Defrauded A Couple Of Their $2.3 Million Life Savings, Christy Gutowski and Jason Meisner, Aug. 30, 2013

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