Hazlet Attorney Charged with Stealing $285K of Clients’ Money
FREEHOLD – A Hazlet attorney has been arrested for stealing $285,000 from his clients, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
Officials say Mr. Steven H. Salami, 44, of Hazlet, was arrested Friday afternoon and charged with two counts of Misapplication of Entrusted Property, second degree crimes, and three counts of Misapplication of Entrusted Property, third degree crimes, after an investigation revealed he stole $285,000 from four victims from April, 2019 through August, 2019.
Officials say Salami is a practicing attorney with a law office located in Hazlet, N.J. Salami is currently being held in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution, Freehold, pending a detention hearing.
As a real estate attorney, Salami took funds from each victim for various real estate transactions and failed to do the work for which he was paid.
The funds, which were given to him with the intent that they would be held in escrow for various real estate deals, were never returned to the victims.
Salami’s actions resulted in missed closing dates; nullified real estate transactions; and ultimately hardship to each victim.
The investigation was conducted by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office with assistance from the Hazlet Township Police Department.
If convicted of Misapplication of Entrusted Funds, second degree crimes, Salami faces a sentence of five to ten years in a New Jersey State Prison for each count.
If convicted on the third degree crimes, Salami faces a sentence of five to ten years in a New Jersey State Prison for each count.
If anyone has information or feels that they are a victim of a crime involving Steven H. Salami, please contact Sergeant Kevin Mahoney of the Monmouth County Special Prosecutions Bureau at (732) 431-7160, extension 2945