Brooklyn Lawyer Indicted for Allegedly Stealing Nearly $3.8 Million from Four Clients to Fund Lavish Lifestyle


Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Brooklyn Lawyer Indicted for Allegedly Stealing

Nearly $3.8 Million from Four Clients to Fund Lavish Lifestyle

Defendant Allegedly Kept Home Sale Proceeds and Estate Funds, Allegedly Spent Funds on Expensive Restaurants, Hotels, a BMW, and a Battery Park City Apartment;

Charged in Similar Scheme in December for Allegedly Stealing Almost $1.5 Million

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that Brooklyn lawyer Salvatore Strazzullo has been arraigned on an indictment charging him with stealing close to $3.8 million from four clients he represented in real estate and estate proceedings in connection with five properties in Bensonhurst, Kensington, Dyker Heights, and Borough Park.

The defendant was charged in a separate indictment in December 2023 with stealing approximately $1.5 million from three other clients following the sale of properties in Bensonhurst and Borough Park. That case is still pending.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant is accused of stealing a tremendous amount of money that represents the nest eggs of his victims, senior citizens who trusted him to handle their affairs. Instead, he allegedly violated his ethical duty as an attorney, betrayed their trust and broke the law. We will now seek to hold him accountable.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Salvatore Strazzullo, 51, whose law office is located at 7101 18th Avenue in Bensonhurst. He was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun on an indictment in which he is charged with one count of first-degree grand larceny, four counts of second-degree grand larceny and one count of first-degree scheme to defraud. The defendant was released without bail and ordered to return to court on May 29, 2024.

The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, the defendant represented an 86-year-old man and an 81-year-old woman on the sale of their family residence on 70th Street in Bensonhurst between August 16, 2023 and March 26, 2024. The defendant allegedly stole the $1,298,035 proceeds of the sale, which were deposited into his escrow account to be given to his clients. He never distributed the funds, it is alleged, and did not respond to calls and emails from his clients.

It is also alleged that the defendant represented a 90-year-old man and an 88-year-old woman in the approximately $1.6 million sale of their family residence on McDonald Avenue in Kensington between April 27, 2022 and March 26, 2024. The proceeds were deposited into the defendant’s escrow account to be distributed to the clients. The clients allegedly received $750,000 from the defendant over a 19-month period after which the payments ceased. The defendant allegedly stole the remaining $933,120 of the proceeds.

Furthermore, it is alleged, that in June 2021 the defendant represented a 54-year-old man and a 52-year-old woman in the sale of two Brooklyn properties, one was their residence on 80th Street in Bensonhurst and one on 70th Street in Dyker Heights was the home of the man’s 86-year-old parents.  The defendant allegedly stole a total of approximately $693,273 from the proceeds of both sales. The defendant allegedly stopped returning phone calls and emails from the clients.

Finally, it is alleged that in May 2023, the defendant represented a 75-year-old man as executor of the estate of his cousin, in the sale of his sole asset, a property located on 59th Street in Borough Park. A portion of the proceeds of the $1.9 million sale, approximately $871,250, were deposited in the defendant’s escrow account to be distributed to the client, but allegedly were not, despite numerous requests.

It is alleged that, between June 9, 2021 and March 26, 2024, the defendant used his escrow account to engage in a Ponzi scheme, using some of the stolen funds from one client to pay money owed to other clients, while living a lavish lifestyle that included $50,000 worth of meals at restaurants including Wolfgang’s Steakhouse, Cipriani and Ponte Vecchio; almost $100,000 for a BMW and a driver; approximately $60,000 for hotels in Paris and Miami; about $406,000 for a $13,000-a-month apartment in Battery Park City; approximately $470,000 in American Express payments and cash withdrawals totaling approximately $970,000.

People who believe they have been victimized by this defendant are encouraged to contact the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Action Center at 718-250-2340 or to send an email to

Supervising Financial Investigator Susan Ryan, of the District Attorney’s Asset Forfeiture and Crimes Against Revenue Bureau, and a Detective Investigator assigned to the DA’s Detective Bureau assisted in the investigation.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Laura Neubauer, Chief of the District Attorney’s Public Integrity Bureau, and Assistant District Attorney Adam Libove, Deputy Bureau Chief, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Michel Spanakos, Deputy Chief of the Investigations Division, and Assistant District Attorney Patricia McNeill, Chief of the Investigations Division.


An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.