Tuesday, October 27th, 2015
Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp has announced that disbarred attorney Neil Gross, 47 of Livingston, has been charged with theft, identity theft, forgery, and unauthorized practice of law.
Gross, a former partner in the law firm of Ward & Gross, based in Flanders, was suspended from the practice of law in October of 2012, and subsequently disbarred on Oct. 21, 2014 for a series of violations of professional conduct.
The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office received a referral of this criminal matter from the New Jersey Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection in July, 2015.
Pursuant to an investigation by the Financial Crimes Unit, Gross is alleged to have used the name of another attorney in a real estate closing in 2013, during his period of suspension.
As part of that closing, Gross allegedly held more than $75,000 in a trust account, but failed to disburse the funds to the seller of the property. He ultimately diverted the funds to a personal account. In so doing, it is also alleged, he forged the name of the other attorney.
Charges against Gross were signed last Friday, Oct. 23, by Morris County Detective Joseph Soulias. The matter will be prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Michael Rappa.
Gross was released on his own recognizance. His initial court appearance will be scheduled by the court on a later date.
A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. Despite this accusation, the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until he or she has been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Any inquiries can be directed to Deputy Chief Denise H. Arseneault at [email protected] or (973)285-6262.