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: [email protected]
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

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

Queens Botanical Garden hosts Lunar New Year celebration with globally beloved Miffy

About 4,200 people joined the world-renowned beloved rabbit Miffy to ring in the Year of the Rabbit at Queens Botanical Garden’s Lunar New Year celebration on Saturday, Jan. 28. 

Queens Botanical Garden’s Lunar New Year celebration included a visit from Councilman Shekar Krishnan, who gave remarks, followed by a program of activities for all ages. Attendees enjoyed a lion dance performance, zodiac crafts, demonstrations, lucky plant sales and more. Miffy was in attendance for photos, story time and to greet children throughout the event.

Mets owner Steve Cohen hosts second community visioning session regarding development of area around Citi Field

Hundreds of community residents and leaders gathered at the Piazza Club inside Citi Field to participate in a visioning session regarding the development of a nearby 50-acre lot. This marked the second visioning session New York Mets owner Steve Cohen has hosted at Citi Field in January as he attempts to collect as much community feedback regarding the development as possible.

Attendees of the visioning session went to a series of interactive stations, sharing what mattered most to them when it came to improving the area around Citi Field, including preferred forms of year-round entertainment, ability to access different forms of transportation and attainable local jobs and training. Information and input was collected from the community in how they would like to see the lot utilized. A common theme among many of those who took part in the visioning session was the desire to see something built there that would bring a lot of economic opportunity to the community and provide year-round entertainment.

NewYork-Presbyterian Queens doctor aims to bring awareness to women’s heart health

With February marking the beginning of American Heart Month, a cardiologist from NewYork-Presbyterian Queens Hospital spoke with QNS about the importance of heart health for women.

According to attending cardiologist Dr. Joanna Troulakis, approximately 400,000 women die as a result of cardiovascular diseases each year in the United States. She noted that women have suffered more cardiovascular disease deaths than men in recent years. When it comes to heart attacks, the mortality rate for women is higher than men.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

‘Where do we go now?’ Michaels set to close its doors in Fresh Meadows next month

The Michaels located at 187-04 Horace Harding Expwy. in Fresh Meadows will be permanently closing its doors on Feb. 23. The announcement that Michaels will be leaving the Fresh Meadows Shopping Center has led to an outpouring of reactions from many community members.

“We know this is disappointing to our customers in Queens, but we hope to continue to serve them at our other locations in New York City or online at Michaels.com,” a spokesperson for Michaels said in a statement to Patch.com.