You are reading

Bayside Lawyer Sentenced to Prison for Swindling Dozens of Clients Out of $1.8 Million

(Photo: iStock)

April 8, 2022 By Michael Dorgan and Allie Griffin 

A disbarred Bayside lawyer was sentenced to prison Wednesday for bilking dozens of clients out of more than $1.8 million over a 5-year period.

Yohan Choi, who ran a law practice on Northern Boulevard in Flushing, was sentenced to 1 1/2 to 4 1/2 years in prison for failing to hand over thousands of dollars to approximately 50 clients who he successfully represented in personal injury cases.

“This defendant took an oath to uphold the law,” said Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz. “Unfortunately, he let his own interest guide him instead of his fiduciary duty to represent his clients… who had already suffered.”

According to the charges, Choi, 47, won dozens of settlements between 2015 and 2020 but his clients never saw a penny.

For instance, Choi reached a $52,000 settlement for a client in November 2016 but failed to hand over any of the proceeds. The woman was entitled to $35,000—after legal fees—but got nothing.

The following year, in November 2017, Choi lost his license to practice law. However, he still continued to swindle cash from clients, according to the charges.

Choi reached a $75,000 settlement in a different lawsuit in May 2018 and should have forwarded $50,000 to his client. He failed to provide his client with any of the money.

A man who hired Choi after he was disbarred never saw the $30,150 he was due from a May 2020 settlement. Choi received a check from an insurance company on behalf of the client for $45,000 and kept it all for himself, according to the charges.

He stole funds from many clients varying from as little as $1,000 to more than $50,000, according to charges. At the time of his plea, he signed 28 confessions of judgment to repay the money to his victims.

Choi pleaded guilty to grand larceny in the fourth degree in Queens criminal court on Jan. 31.

email the author: news@queenspost.com
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Mob of young people ransack Flushing boutique minutes after robbing man at knifepoint on Roosevelt Avenue: NYPD

Police from the 109th Precinct in Flushing are still looking for more than a dozen young people who allegedly robbed a man at knifepoint on Roosevelt Avenue and then pulled a smash-and-grab minutes later, looting a store of tens of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise last month.

The mob of more than a dozen men and women surrounded a 38-year-old man in the vicinity of Roosevelt Avenue and Union Street in the early morning of Monday, April 22. Several of the suspects threatened the victim with knives and some of the individuals menaced him with sticks before they forcibly removed his wallet, which contained $700 in cash, police said, adding that the victim was not injured during the incident.

Mayor announces new 9/11 memorial will be built in Whitestone to honor fallen service members from Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts

Queens will be home to the city’s new memorial dedicated to the 99 service members from the borough who lost their lives in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq following the events of 9/11, Mayor Eric Adams announced during a Fleet Week kickoff reception at City Hall on Thursday morning.

The borough of Queens was chosen because it is home to the largest number of post-9/11 service members who were killed in action during those conflicts. Queens is also home to the highest population of living veterans than any other borough.

Two men sentenced to life imprisonment in murder-for-hire of perceived business rival at Flushing karaoke club

The president of a Manhattan-based construction company and a California man were sentenced to life in prison in Brooklyn federal court on Wednesday for orchestrating the murder of a businessman at a Flushing karaoke bar in 2019.

Qing Ming “Allen” Yu, 55, of Oyster Bay, and Zhe “Zack” Zhang, 35, of Arcadia, Calif., were convicted by a federal jury in October following a two-week trial for the contract killing of 31-year-old Xin “Chris” Gu, who worked at Yu’s company before becoming his business rival. The jury found the defendants guilty of murder-for-hire and murder-for-hire conspiracy for hiring a hitman to gun the victim down outside the Grand Slam KTV bar on Fowler Avenue