A disbarred lawyer pleaded guilty Thursday to stealing $1 million in 9/11 compensation from a retired NYPD cop who contracted cancer from working at Ground Zero, officials announced.
Gustavo Vila copped to one count of theft of government funds in White Plains federal court.
Vila represented the unidentified retired police officer in his compensation claim case from 2012 through 2019 — even though his law license was revoked in 2015.
He also filled out paperwork designating any compensation for his client to be deposited into his own bank account, prosecutors said.
The client settled for $1,030,622 in 2016, but Vila didn’t turn over the money.
Instead, the 62-year-old Yorktown Heights crook “falsely told the client for more than three years that the stolen money had yet to be released by the Fund,” Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said in a statement.
Vila faces up to 10 years in prison at his Feb. 5 sentencing, but sentencing guidelines recommend he receive three years and five months to four years and three months behind bars.
As part of the plea deal, Vila agreed to pay $922,559.84 in restitution to the victim.
Vila’s lawyer did not immediately return a request for comment.
Share this article:
Source: Read Full Article