Judge Sends Disbarred Attorney to Prison for 7 Years for Diverting over $100k

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A former West Long Branch attorney, disbarred from the practice of law in November 2012, was sentenced to seven years in a New Jersey state prison after he was convicted earlier this year of withdrawing cash from a court-ordered escrow fund in his attorney trust account, as well as contempt of court, announced Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

Eugene M. LaVergne, 50, of West Long Branch,was sentenced Friday to seven years in a New Jersey state prison after he was convicted in October of second-degree Misapplication of Entrusted Funds and fourth-degree Contempt of Court following a week-long trial before Middlesex County Superior Court Judge Bradley J. Ferencz, P.J.Cr.at the Middlesex County Courthouse in New Brunswick.

The charges stemmed from LaVergne’s representation of an estate in litigation before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Thomas W. Cavanagh in Chancery Court in Freehold, between July 6, 2009and November 19, 2010.  LaVergne was ordered by Judge Cavanagh to hold $200,000in escrow in his attorney trust account pending the resolution of certain issues in the estate matter.   Instead of retaining those funds in his trust account, LaVergne took approximately $108,000 from the escrowed funds making 130 cash withdrawals from the bank, in addition to using those funds to pay numerous personal bills and expenses.

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The case was prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutors John Loughrey, Director of the Office’s Financial Crimes and Public CorruptionBureau and Melanie Falco.

LaVergne is represented by Rodger Wolf, Esq., of Pine Brook.