A disbarred attorney from Hauppauge has been indicted for allegedly scamming at least 10 families out of a combined $1.4 million in equity and causing some of them to lose their homes.

Barry Stephen Zornberg, who was a partner at the law firm of Zornberg and Hirsch, was scheduled to face the charges Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kathleen Tomlinson at Central Islip federal court.

“A law license is not a license to steal or lie,” said Loretta Lynch, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

Prosecutors said the 54-year-old working with Bethpage-based Empire Property Solutions, LLC when he allegedly tricked distressed homeowners into transferring title to their homes to straw buyers and paying large fees to “refinance” their houses between January 2006 and February 2008.

When the straw buyers did not make payments, the victims lost a total of$4.3 million worth of property and lost the title to their homes, authorities said. Almost all of the victim homeowners face foreclosure.

Federal investigators described Zornberg as the architect of the scheme, but two others who allegedly worked with the suspect were not named.

Contour Mortgage

If convicted, Zornberg faces up to five years In prison.


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Timothy Bolger is the Managing Editor for the Long Island Press who’s been working to uncover unreported stories since shortly after it launched in 2003. When he’s not editing, getting hassled by The Man or fielding cold calls to the newsroom, he covers crime, general interest and political news in addition to reporting longer, sometimes investigative features. He won’t be happy until everyone is as pissed off as he is about how screwed up Lawn Guyland is.