WEST ORANGE, NJ - Sergio Pastor, 41, a West Orange resident and disbarred attorney, admitted on Monday to embezzling $362,000 in clients' monies through his law practice based in Cranford, NJ. Pastor plead guilty to two counts of second-degree theft by failure to make required disposition, four counts of third-degree theft by failure to make required disposition, and a single count of fourth-degree unauthorized practice of law before state Superior Court Judge Robert J. Mega, announced acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park.
According to Assistant Prosecutoro Ann Rubin, Pastor "stole the money from clients by misappropriating assets from the estate of a deceased client and siphoning funds out of a trust account for another client’s pending real estate transaction." Pastor was suspended from practicing law by the New Jersey Supreme Court in August 2012, but continued to represent his clients in legal matters until March 2013 when he was arrested in Kenilworth Municipal Court. He was released on $150,000 bail.
The New Jersey State Supreme Court disbarred Pastor in June 2013. Sentencing is set for Feb. 7, 2014 and faces a term of 7 to 11 years in state prison.