Old Westbury Man Pleads Guilty to Stealing Millions from Clients
By Joe Randazzo Published: September 14 2013
The Old Westbury resident stole millions from clients and his own wife.
An Old Westbury man pleaded guilty to the top count against him after being charged with stealing millions million from five clients he represented in real estate deals. James Kalpakis, 52, even stole from his wife. Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced that the disbarred attorney pleaded guilty to Grand Larceny in the First Degree, and Grand Larceny in the Second Degree. Judge Philip Grella committed to a prison sentence of three and a half to ten years despite DA Rice’s recommendation that he get five to fifteen years.
“This defendant spun lie after lie in order to steal millions from innocent people whose only crime was placing their trust in the wrong man,” DA Rice said. “Mr. Kalpakis proved himself to be nothing more than a con man, and he now faces a lengthy prison sentence for his actions.”
Kalpakis was suspended from practicing law in 2005 and disbarred in 2009 after resigning under his own volition. His shady dealings took place between September 2008 and January 2011. One of his first moves was illegally obtaining a 30-year, $1.1. million mortgage loan from a bank to refinance a mortgage on a home owned by his wife. Kalpakis forged a power of attorney in her name giving him the authority to sign the mortgage without her being present. He received a $405,152 check to pay off the rest of the mortgage. His wife had no idea her husband was doing this.
Kalpakis stole more than $1.3 million from a client he sold two homes to. During the deal he forged deeds from banks that were not the actual owners of the property between October 2009 and December 2009. He stole another $290,000 when the deal fell through and he never returned the client’s escrow deposit.
Another client fell victim to three separate Kalpakis scams. In 2010 he stole $33,000 from the victim after the purchase of a home fell through. He stole another $35,000 from the woman when he promised another client in a civil case would sign over $42,000. She was promised a $7,000 profit in this deal. Sadly for the victim, there was no lawsuit or client.
Kalpakis again scammed this client promising the same deal as the last. He stole $12,000 from her and promised she would receive a $3,000 payment. Just like the scam before, there was no lawsuit and Kalpakis pocketed her money.
Kalpakis is scheduled to be sentenced December 3 for scamming a total of $4 million from clients and his own wife. Assistant District Attorney Peter J. Mancuso of the DA’s Government & Consumer Frauds Bureau is prosecuting the case.
This is the third Old Westbury resident arrested for scamming clients in less than two months. Brian Callahan, 43, an investment fund manager and Adam Manson, 41, a real estate developer, were arrested at their homes by FBI agents and charged with conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud in August. Their Ponzi scheme channelled more than $96 million.
[Source: District Attorney Kathleen Rice]