New York lawyer who spent firm funds on diamond watch, ring sentenced to prison

Oct 11 (Reuters) – A New York lawyer has been sentenced to up to 7.5 years in prison after stealing more than $1.2 million from his law firm to spend on luxury items like a diamond-encrusted watch, said Manhattan prosecutors.

Arthur Cohen, 72, was sentenced between 2.5 years and 7.5 years on Tuesday, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement that called Cohen’s crime a “brazen scheme.”

Cohen pleaded guilty to grand larceny in the first degree last month for stealing from now-defunct law firm Gordon & Silber in Manhattan.

Cohen’s lawyer, Jacob Kaplan of Brafman & Associates, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

As senior equity partner and treasurer at Gordon & Silber, Cohen used the firm as his “personal gold mine,” prosecutors said.

Cohen spent firm funds on a $40,000 diamond-encrusted Cartier watch and a $57,000 diamond ring, and spent more than $100,000 to pay off his son’s American Express card debts, prosecutors said. He also used stolen firm funds for luxury hotel stays and on luxury automobiles, prosecutors alleged.

Prosecutors said Cohen fabricated accounting entries and expense reports to cover his tracks from January 2014 to February 2020. He was then suspended from the firm, which demanded he repay at least some of the money.

Read more:

New York lawyer who used firm funds on jewelry and hotels pleads guilty to theft

N.Y. lawyer used law firm as ‘personal gold mine,’ prosecutors charge

Reporting by David Thomas

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David Thomas reports on the business of law, including law firm strategy, hiring, mergers and litigation. He is based out of Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @DaveThomas5150.

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