Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp announces that Neil Gross, 47, of Livingston, has been charged with theft (second degree), identity theft (second degree), forgery (third degree), and unauthorized practice of law (third degree).
Neil Gross, a former partner in the law firm of Ward & Gross, Flanders, was suspended from the practice of law in October of 2012, and subsequently disbarred on October 21, 2014 for a series of violations of professional conduct.
The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office received a referral of this matter from the New Jersey Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection in July of 2015. Pursuant to an investigation by the Financial Crimes Unit, Neil Gross is alleged to have used the name of another attorney in a real estate closing in 2013, during his period of suspension. As part of that closing, Gross allegedly held over $75,000 in a trust account, but failed to disburse the funds to the seller of the property. He ultimately diverted the funds to a personal account. In so doing, it is also alleged, he forged the name of the other attorney.
Charges against Gross were signed October 23, 2015 by Morris County Detective Joseph Soulias and the matter will be prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Michael Rappa. Gross was charged following the investigation and was released on his own recognizance.
His initial court appearance will be scheduled by the court on a later date.