- Lawyer disbarred for stealing $2M from clients
- By SNEJANA FARBEROV
- 24/02/2018 Make a Comment
- Contributed by: Crowley ( 1 article in 2018 )
Former lawyer: Allison Scollar
- Manhattan real estate attorney Allison Scollar, 55, has been disbarred after she admitted to swindling clients out of $2million
- Scollar secretly pleaded guilty to grand larceny and mortgage fraud and was ordered to pay $600,000 in restitution; case remained sealed until this week
- In 2012, she won full custody of her former lesbian partner's biological daughter after Family Court judge said she was the better parent
- Scollar's ex, TV producer Brook Altman, 52, gave birth to the child in 2006 after getting a sperm donation from a friend
- Scollar allegedly paid $125,000 to an Israeli con man pretending to be an ex-Mossad agent who offered to bribe he Family Court judge; she denies the claim
Lawyer who won custody of her lesbian partner's biological daughter after being deemed the more 'responsible' parent is disbarred for stealing $2M from clients and paying off an Israeli con man
A Manhattan real estate attorney who in 2012 won full custody of her former lesbian partner's biological daughter after being deemed the more responsible of the two parents has been disbarred after she admitted to swindling clients out of $2million.
Allison Scollar's name on Thursday was removed from the roll of attorneys in the State of New York, nearly two years after she secretly pleaded guilty to grand larceny as part of a deal with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.
Scollar, 55, made headlines six years ago when she won a landmark legal victory over her estranged partner, Emmy Award-winning TV producer Brook Altman, 52, who lost full custody of her biological daughter, Harrison.
Altman conceived the child in 2006 after receiving a sperm donation from a close friend, who later renounced his parental rights, clearing the way for Scollar to legally adopt her.
Disgraced: Manhattan real estate attorney Allison Scollar (seen in her mugshot, left) has been disbarred after she admitted to swindling clients out of $2million. In 2012, she won full custody of her former partner's biological daughter (right)
Landmark case: Brook Altman, left, was the girl's biological mother, but the judge ruled that Scollar, right, was the more responsible of the two parents
A Family Court judge ruled in the fall of 2012 that Scollar was able to provide structure for Harrison and was more likely to look after the child’s interests, rather than her own, whereas her birth mother 'behaved more as a friend or older sister than a responsible parent.'
The girl, who is now 11 years old, has been splitting her time between the homes of her biological mother and Scollar as part of a court-ordered arrangement, but it is Scollar who currently maintains full custody of the girl.
However, in light of Scollar's criminal conviction and disbarment, that could soon change.
Speaking to the New York Post after her ex-girlfriend’s case was unsealed this week, a seemingly jubilant Altman gloated: 'Karma's a wonderful thing.'
Referring to the language of the Family Court's ruling that had stripped her of her daughter's custody six years ago, Altman sneered at the notion that Scollar was a 'responsible parent.'
‘She was an attorney who was stealing money right under everyone’s noses,’ the TV producer said.
Told you so: After learning of Scollar's disbarment and criminal conviction, Altman (pictured with her daughter), told a paper: 'Karma's a wonderful thing'
Attorney Hal Lieberman, who represented Scollar before the Appellate Division, declined to comment on the disbarment on Friday.
DailyMail.com also reached out to both Altman and Scollar and was awaiting their replies.
Scollar allegedly paid Israeli con man Eli Luski (pictured) masquerading as a former Mossad agent $125,000 after he offered to bribe the Family Court judge presiding over her custody case
The New York Daily News reported that Scollar allegedly stole $2million from legal clients' escrow accounts, and that she paid an Israeli con man masquerading as a former Mossad agent $125,000 after he offered to bribe the Family Court judge presiding over her custody case.
Scollar avoided prison time by turning on her two alleged associates, her friends David and Jay Katz, and the bogus Israeli spy Eli Luski.
She later secretly pleaded guilty to charges of grand larceny and mortgage fraud and was ordered to pay $600,000 in restitution.
Scollar confirmed to the News that she was a 'cooperating witness' and boasted of helping the Manhattan District Attorney take 'very evil men off of the streets.'
Jay Katz has challenged Scollar's version of events, claiming that she played a major role in the scheme, which netted a total of $5million for the crooks over the course of six years, and that she later threw her accomplices under the bus to maintain custody of her daughter.
His brother David Katz told the paper that at the height of Scollar's legal battle against Altman in 2013, he acted as a liaison between Scollar and Luski, and handed him five checks totalling $125,000.
The money was allegedly meant as a bribe for Manhattan Family Court Judge Gloria Sosa-Lintner, but Luski ended up pocketing the entire sum. He died at the Rikers Island jail last March.
The Katz brothers served between six months and a year in prison in connection to the fraud case and were ordered to pay $830,000 in fines.
Scollar was never charged with attempting to bribe the judge. Speaking to the News, she dismissed the bribery allegation as 'nonsense' and claimed that she was the victim of an extortion plot concocted by the Katz brothers and Luski.
Scollar is due back in court in April for a custody hearing, which likely will revolve around her legal troubles and disbarment.
‘My daughter and I are hopeful the judge will see people make mistakes,’ Scollar said. ‘My ex will put my daughter in harm’s way to win this battle. It’s all about winning for her.’
Scollar and Altman met on a blind date and fell in love. In 2006, four years into their relationship, Altman gave birth to her daughter Harrison, but tensions arose when the baby's biological father insisted he had a say in the raising of the child and the biological parents often took each other's side and alienated Scollar, according to the New York Post.
After the couple eventually split in 2010, Altman took her daughter to California.
In limbo: Scollar is due back in court in April for a custody hearing, which likely will revolve around her legal troubles and disbarment
Scollar sought - and was immediately granted - temporary custody of the child by a New York judge, and Altman was ordered to return, setting the stage for a protracted and acrimonious legal battle.
Judge Sosa-Lintner ultimately ruled in Scollar's favor, writing in her landmark decision that the biology of the child was irrelevant and that Scollar was 'indeed the more responsible parent looking out for the child’s best interests, not her own interests'.
She noted that Scollar had the child on a schedule, always brought her to school on time and to therapy appointments.
Altman, on the other hand was a 'freer spirit' and a 'more laid-back parent' who would 'miss therapy appointments or be late to school or camp bus because she overslept or felt that play dates were more important than therapy or that play dates should end late in the evening so that the child and she were too tired to commit to a schedule.'
Scollar told the New York Post days after she was awarded custody: 'Love doesn’t just come from biology. And the minute I saw this little baby, I knew she was mine.'