|*As appeared Front Page of the New York Law Journal 6/25/15,
By Andrew Denney, The New York Law Journal
ATTORNEY ADMITS TO TAKING $797,000 FROM CLIENTS
A Long Island elder law attorney has admitted to embezzling more than $797,000 from her clients over a four-year period, the Queens District Attorney’s Office announced on Tuesday.
Martha Brosius, 52, of Brosius & Associates of Great Neck, appeared Tuesday before Acting Supreme Court Justice Helene Gugerty and pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree grand larceny and one count of scheme to defraud, according to a news release from Queens District Attorney Richard Brown’s Office.
“The defendant has admitted to breaching her fiduciary duty and unjustly enriching herself at the expense of her client,” Brown said in the release. Brosius was indicted for the offenses in 2013. Her clients included a 77-year-old man who had been deemed mentally incapable and for whom Brosius served as legal guardian, as well as two brothers who retained Brosius to sell their deceased father’s estate and establish a special-needs trust for their disabled sister, who was the sole heir to the father’s estate.
Brosius is scheduled to appear before Gugerty on Aug. 12 for sentencing. Gugerty has indicated that her prison sentence would range between four and 12 years. Brosius is a graduate of the St. John’s University School of Law and was admitted to the bar in 2003. According to the Office of Court Administration website, she has not been publicly disciplined. Her guilty plea will subject her to mandatory disbarment.
Assistant District Attorneys James Liander and Yvonne Francis appeared for the Queens District Attorney’s Office.
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The Medicaid exception refers to a transfer to a special needs trust (also called supplemental needs trust). Even after moving to a nursing home, if you have a child, other relative, or even a friend who is under age 65 and disabled, you can transfer assets into a trust for his or her benefit without incurring a period of Medicaid ineligibility. If these trusts are properly structured, the funds in them will not be considered to belong to the beneficiary in determining his or her own Medicaid eligibility. In order to be the beneficiary of a special needs trust, you need to have a disability as defined by Social Security law. For information on what is considered a disability, click here.
Special needs trusts must be structured in a very particular way and should not be done without an attorney.
For more information, email medicaid@RaphanLaw.com