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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Accused 9/11 Scammer Quits New York Bar

Accused 9/11 scammer quits NY bar
Newsday by Rocco Parascandola - July 3, 2008

A Long Island lawyer accused of scamming a Sept. 11 widow out of nearly $1 million has resigned from the state bar, according to court records. Gregory Ronan, 58, recently sought from the state appellate court, and was granted, permission to resign, though he is now legally disbarred, according to the court records.

Ronan had been the subject of three financial fraud lawsuits. Two of them resulted in judgments against him that likely would have led to his disbarment had he not resigned. "Mr. Ronan acknowledges his inability to defend himself on the merits of any disciplinary charges that may be initiated against him by the Grievance Committee," the appellate division wrote, referring to the body that disciplines lawyers. In one judgment, a state Supreme Court judge in Brooklyn ordered Ronan to pay more than $1 million, including interest, to Santa Catarelli, a Bensonhurst widow whose husband Richard Catarelli, a senior vice president with insurance giant Marsh & McLennan, was killed at the World Trade Center.

Santa Catarelli, now 53, said Ronan scammed her out of $850,000 she collected after her husband's death by investing money in a company, General Credit, for which he served as director and attorney. Ronan failed to disclose his affiliation with the company to Catarelli. In the other judgment, a Nassau County judge in 2005 granted a $450,000 judgment to Robin Tahler Scheiner, who had sued Ronan for financial fraud. Ronan, 58, who now lives in Florida, is also being sued in Suffolk County by businessman Paul DeRoos, who has accused Ronan of defrauding him of nearly $190,000 he invested in General Credit.

Until leaving for Florida, Ronan had an office in Garden City and lived in Lloyd Harbor. DeRoos' lawyer, Lawrence Van Dyke, said it's clear Ronan decided to resign because he would have been disbarred after the Grievance Committee finished its investigation. "He obviously crumbled and realized he didn't stand a chance in hell of weathering all the accusations against him," Van Dyke said. Catarelli wouldn't comment, but her lawyer, Neil Greenberg, said she's "glad he won't be able to hurt any other people." "If the way he handled Mrs. Catarelli is any indication of the way he acts as an attorney, the public is better without him," Greenberg added.

See Related Story: "3 Judges Covered Pals 9/11 Donation Fraud"


Anonymous said...

don't trust this snake Ronan, he will more than likely practice law in Florida and be able to say that he was never dis-barred from New York. For that matter don't trust any lawyers or "former" lawyers they are all NO GOOD!

Anonymous said...

what a bunch of bastards!

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