Metro Detroit attorney accused of embezzling funds from deceased client’s trust

LANSING, me. – A Metro Detroit attorney has been charged with embezzlement after allegedly stealing funds from the trust of his late client, according to the Michigan Attorney General.

The funds, officials said, were for the Michigan Humane Society.

Anthony Semaan, 63, of Grosse Pointe Park, was charged last week with agent embezzlement ($ 50,000 to $ 100,000) – a 15 year felony and / or $ 25,000 fine.

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Officials said Semaan drafted the victim’s trust in 2011 – two years before the client died. Fifty percent of the trust was given to Michigan Humans.

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The AG’s office announced that in 2016, Semaan was tasked with distributing the money as reported in the trust. He allegedly deposited a total of $ 262,732.68 into his attorney’s escrow / escrow account and distributed two payments to those named in the trust, but failed to inform Michigan Humane of his interest in the trust or the 50% payout.

“The victim’s trust showed very clearly how the funds would be paid out, and the defendant was required by law to obey Michigan professional codes,” said Attorney General Dana Nessel. “It is important to know that someone who has been able to grant the deceased’s wishes may have taken advantage of this position. I am grateful to the financial crime division in my office for further investigating these types of events and ensuring that the most vulnerable are protected. “

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Semaan’s next hearing is scheduled for later this week.

READ: Ypsilanti man pleads guilty to embezzling more than $ 100,000 from a 91-year-old man

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