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Former Woodland Park Attorney Arrested for Theft of Client Funds

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LAWRENCE G. TOSI Credits: Photo courtesy of the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office
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WOODLAND PARK, NJ - Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes announces the arrest on March 30, of Lawrence G. Tosi, 58, of Woodland Park,  by members of the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office Financial Crimes Unit.

Tosi, formerly an attorney-at-law, licensed in the State of New Jersey, is charged with two counts of theft by deception (second degree) (NJSA 2C: 20-4); two counts of misapplication of entrusted property (second degree) (NJSA 2C:21-15); one count of forgery (fourth degree) (NJSA 2C:21- 1(a)); one count of bad checks (second degree) (NJSA 2C:21-5(b)) and one count of tampering with records (fourth degree) (NJSA 2C: 21-4(a)).

The charges arise out of Tosi’s law practice, where Tosi is alleged to have stolen client funds. In one case, Tosi is alleged to have failed to turn over funds to a client he represented as a seller in a real estate transaction. In another case, Tosi is alleged to have failed to turn over client funds in an estate matter. In both cases, Tosi converted the misapplied funds to his own use. At this time the approximate total amount of theft is in the range of $250,000 to $500,000.

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Tosi maintained a law office at various times in Little Falls, Wayne and most recently in Woodland Park. Tosi was admitted to practice law in 1990. By order dated Nov. 1, 2016, the New Jersey Supreme Court disbarred Tosi and ordered his name stricken from the role of attorneys.

Clients who have suffered financial loss as a result of attorney dishonesty can file a claim for reimbursement with the NJ Lawyer’s Fund for Client Protection in Trenton.

A second degree offense is punishable by between five and 10 years in state prison; a third degree offense is punishable by between 3 and 5 years state prison; a fourth degree offense is punishable by up to 18 months in state prison.

Tosi was charged by way of a complaint summons and he was released pending disposition of the case.

A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. Despite this accusation, the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The investigation is continuing. Passaic County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Jay W. McCann is prosecuting the case against the defendant. Any inquiries may be directed to McCann at 973-837-7616 or jmccann@passaiccountynj.org.

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