An elder law attorney from Great Neck has been indicted on charges of stealing about $700,000 from her clients—more than quadruple the $150,000 she was originally accused of stealing, authorities said.
Martha Brosius, 50, tearfully pleaded not guilty Friday at Nassau County court to charges of grand larceny, scheme to defraud and offering a false instrument for filing. Queens prosecutors are handling the case because Brosius’ husband works for the Nassau County District Attorney’s office, which requested a special prosecutor to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.
“She’s retired from law and is returning files from clients,” her Garden City-based attorney, Marc Gann, told Judge Helene Gugerty when his client was arraigned on the new charges.
In the 18 months since Brosius’ arrest in September 2013, investigators discovered additional instances of alleged theft, which increased the original three charges to 12, said James Liander, bureau chief of the Queens District Attorney’s Integrity Bureau. The case was sent to the grand jury twice last year, the Press has learned.
The victims included an incapacitated 77-year-old man and a disabled woman who was the sole inheritor of her father’s estate. Some of that money has since been repaid, authorities said.
Liander requested that Brosius’ bail be increased from $10,000 to $150,000. The judge declined the request after Gann argued that it was unnecessary because Brosius has attended every court and remains at home, caring for her two elementary-school-aged children.
“The defendant is accused of breaching her fiduciary duty and unjustly enriching herself at the expense of her clients,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement at the time of her arrest. “Such alleged actions cannot go unpunished.”
The case was referred to prosecutors by the Office of Court Administration’s Inspector General. If convicted, Brosius faces up to 15 years in prison. She is due back in court on March 11.
—With Timothy Bolger