A Manhattan real estate lawyer faces as much as 13½ years in prison after pleading guilty Monday to stealing $14 million of his clients’ money, prosecutors announced.
Mitchell Kossoff, 68, defrauded 35 of his clients, using their cash to pay off massive credit card bills and $19,000 monthly rent on his luxury apartment. At times, Kossoff used clients’ stolen money to pay back other clients he’d stolen from, prosecutors said.
“In order to finance his own business and lifestyle, Mitchell Kossoff stole huge sums of money that belonged to people who trusted him,” said Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance. “Now, he will serve a significant sentence.”
Under the terms of his plea, Kossoff faces a sentence between 4½ and 13½ years in prison. His work for major New York City landlords, including Stellar Management and Steve Croman, gave him access to large sums of clients’ money.
In April, Kossoff’s 94-year-old philanthropist mother Phyllis Kossoff told The Real Deal he had forged her signature to take out a loan for $2.6 million. The website reported that Kossoff vanished as his legal problems mounted, resulting in the abrupt closure of his law firm that employed around 30 attorneys.
Kossoff’s victims included small business owners struggling to make ends meet in the pandemic, including a family-owned packaging company based in Queens.
Kossoff’s clients discovered his crimes and contacted authorities in March when they found he had not issued several scheduled…