Florida Record

Monday, December 9, 2019

Longtime Boca Raton attorney suspended 3 years after bookkeeper steals more than $145,000

Discipline

By Karen Kidd | Jul 29, 2019

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TALLAHASSEE (Florida Record) — Longtime Boca Raton attorney Blanca Perper Greenstein has been suspended following a July 27 Florida Supreme Court order and misappropriation of tens of thousands by her bookkeeper, according to a recent announcement by The Florida Bar.

"The bookkeeper misappropriated more than $100,000 from Greenstein’s trust account,” the state bar said in its July 26 announcement of the discipline and the Supreme Court's order. "After becoming aware of the thefts, Greenstein made immediate efforts to repay all monies that were misappropriated."

Greenstein hired the bookkeeper on the recommendation by her then husband, who was CFO of her law firm, according to the announcement.

"Greenstein gave the bookkeeper signatory authority over her trust account and did not conduct a background check, which would have uncovered a criminal record for theft," the announcement said.

In its two-page order, state Supreme Court approved the consent judgment reached between Greenstein and the state bar before suspending her for three years. The consent judgment also includes Greenstein's conditional guilty plea. Greenstein's suspension was effective 30 days from the date of the court's order to allow him time to close his practice and protect his existing clients' interests, according to the high court's order.

The court also ordered Greenstein to pay more than $8,262 in costs. Florida court orders are not final until time to file a rehearing motion expires.

Greenstein was admitted to the bar in Florida on Sept. 29, 1995, according to her profile at the state bar website. Greenstein had no history of prior discipline before the state bar according to her profile and the consent judgment.

Greenstein's now ex-husband recommend in February 2016 that she hire the bookkeeper, the consent judgment said.

In June 2017, Greenstein found out the bookkeeper had misappropriated funds and immediately contacted law enforcement, hired attorneys and self-reported the matter to the state bar. In addition to covering all the stolen funds, Greenstein fully cooperated with the subsequent audit, according to the consent judgment.

The audit determined the bookkeeper wrote trust checks to herself totally $146,520 between April 2016 and June 2017.

“There is no evidence that Ms. Greenstein benefitted from, knew about or should have anticipated the criminal misconduct of her former bookkeeper,” the consent judgment said.

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