D.A.: Riverhead Attorney Stole $25K During Real Estate Deal

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Riverhead attorney Peter A. Saad, Jr. has been arrested on charges he stole $25,000 from two parties to a real estate transaction, Suffolk District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney announced on Wednesday.

Saad, 46, was charged with two counts of grand larceny in the third degree. A Calverton resident, he is the principal attorney at the Law Offices of Peter A. Saad, Jr., P.C. in Riverhead,

“The allegations against this defendant represent a betrayal of trust and of the fiduciary duty he owed to his client,” said District Attorney Tierney. “My office remains committed to prosecuting all manner of thefts, including those committed by lawyers.” 

The charges stem from 2020.

According to the investigation, Saad was hired in 2020 to represent a client in the sale of a house. During the deal, it was discovered that the house had permit issues that needed to be resolved, which required money to be left in escrow after the closing held on Sept. 3, 2020. “All parties to the sale agreed to keep $25,000 in Saad’s escrow account until the outstanding permit issues were resolved,” a statement from Tierney’s office said.

However, following the closing, Saad reportedly stopped responding to all parties involved, failed to return the escrow funds and instead spent the money on his personal expenses, Tierney’s office alleges.

The investigation determined that the buyers were owed $5,000 and the sellers were due $20,000.

“Saad has been suspended from the practice of law since June 3, 2022,” Tierney’s statement explains.

He surrendered himself to the D.A.’s office on Wednesday and was arraigned before First District Court Judge Rosann Orlando on the Class D felonies.

Under New York State law, he was released on his own recognizance. He is due back in court on Jan. 2, 2024.

His attorney, Gerard Donnelly, could not be immediately reached for comment.

Tierney’s office has asked others possibly victimized by Saad to please call the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office at (631) 853-4626. Assistant District Attorney Amanda Scheier of the Public Corruption Bureau is prosecuting the case. 

According to information found online, the Law Office of Peter A. Saad, Jr, P.C. is “a full-service general practice firm” with offices in both Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The office specializes in criminal law, traffic law, personal injury, taxation issues, zoning and land use, and more. Affiliate offices are located in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida and Maryland.

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