Reporting Irene Cornell
NEW YORK (1010 WINS/WCBS 880) — A Manhattan businessman has been charged with grand larceny, forgery and other charges after stealing more than $330,000 from a 98-year-old semi-retired lawyer, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. announced Friday.
Harry Abrams, 76, allegedly began the financial abuse after the victim broke his hip in July 2009. According to a release on the Manhattan DA’s website, Abrams ran several companies from his office in Midtown and allowed the victim to use his office space “for a few legal matters he was handling for private clients.”
At a news conference Friday, Assistant DA Elizabeth Loewy said Abrams had access to the victim’s financial information and when he was hospitalized, Abrams “committed forgeries and cashed out and redeemed several CDs.”
The DA’s office said Abrams used a bank account under his deceased wife’s name to hide the movement of the funds. Abrams allegedly used the money to pay for a trip to Puerto Rico and other expenses at Jenny Craig, Costco and Lands’ End.
Vance Jr. said senior citizens were often victimized by criminals, who believed their crimes would go unnoticed. He also praised the work of the office’s Elder Abuse Unit.
“I think the importance of the case…reflects the work of the office and this unit in protecting especially particularly vulnerable victims,” Vance said.
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