DA Vance: Attorney Pleads Guilty to Embezzling $2.6 Million From Client Trusts and Estates

February 15, 2018

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. today announced the guilty plea of PAUL RICHARD KARAN, 81, an attorney, for stealing more than $2.6 million from the estates and trusts of multiple families. The defendant pleaded guilty in New York State Supreme Court to all of the charges in the indictment against him, including Grand Larceny in the Second and Third Degrees, as well as Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree. He is expected to be sentenced on March 22, 2018.

“Paul Richard Karan stole millions from multiple families, callously abusing the longtime trust they placed in him as their attorney and adviser,” said District Attorney Vance. “The defendant systematically drained his victims’ trusts and estate funds over a period of more than a decade—and in one instance, embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars less than a month after his client’s death—all to finance his own lavish lifestyle.”

As admitted in the defendant’s guilty plea, between April 2005 and August 2016, KARAN, an attorney specializing in trusts and estate planning, stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from accounts he controlled as a trustee or executor. The defendant wrote checks and made transfers to himself totaling $2,673,989.95 from two estates and ten trusts before his law firm discovered the thefts and reported KARAN to the NYPD. The defendant spent the money on mortgage payments, loans, restaurants in New York, travel in Europe, country club fees, and credit card bills.

Assistant D.A. Diego Diaz is handling the prosecution of the case under the supervision of Assistant D.A. Gloria Garcia, Chief of the Immigrant Affairs Unit and Deputy Chief of the Financial Frauds Bureau, Assistant D.A. Archana Rao, Chief of the Financial Frauds Bureau, and Executive Assistant D.A. Michael Sachs, Chief of the Investigation Division. Trial Preparation Assistant Marissa Volpe and Principal Financial Investigator Peter Chicola provided additional assistance with the case.

District Attorney Vance thanked the NYPD for their assistance with the investigation, and in particular, Detective James Meehan of the NYPD Midtown South Detective Squad.

Defendant Information:
New York, NY


  • Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 6 counts
  • Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 6 counts
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, 1 count