A Jamaica-born New York-based attorney who was recently disbarred for professional misconduct could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted in connection with the alleged misappropriation of her elderly client’s fund.
The New York Grievance Committee for the Second Judicial Department, Chief Counsel Diana Maxfield Kearse revealed that Audrey Thomas was no longer a licensed attorney as of November 9.
Thomas has at least three charges of professional misconduct filed against her.
Court documents published last week Tuesday showed that Thomas, of Queens, was disbarred at the conclusion of a disciplinary hearing where it was alleged that she misappropriated US$630,000 in escrow funds from Rhea Murray, an elderly client.
Murray had hired Thomas to oversee the sale of her Brooklyn apartment in 2013.
Thomas, who is also the author of the book “Ego Has No Place in the Law”, in her defence, claimed that she had Murray’s permission to take the money.
Thomas would reportedly use it to promote herself as an author and radio show host.
Murray’s daughters confronted Thomas about the missing cash in 2016, at which point the attorney promised to repay the money over several months. Disciplinary proceedings against Thomas began in 2018 after she defaulted on the payment plan.
The Queens District Attorney’s Office subsequently took Thomas into custody in July 2019 on second-degree larceny charges. She pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial where, if convicted, she faces up to 15 years in prison.
She has reportedly denied the allegations against her.