MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced the arrest of a disbarred attorney from Hicksville for allegedly stealing $40,000 from a Hicksville couple selling their home.
Constantine Giannakos, 51, was arraigned today before Judge William Hohauser and is charged with Grand Larceny in the Third Degree (a D felony). Bail was set at $40,000 bond or $30,000 cash and the defendant is due back in court September 28. If convicted of the top charge, he faces a maximum of 3-1/2 to seven years in prison.
“This defendant, a disbarred attorney, is accused of stealing a down payment of $40,000 from his clients and using the money for his own personal expenses,” DA Singas said. “Anyone interested in hiring an attorney is encouraged to check that person’s standing and registration with the Office of Court Administration.”
DA Singas said in early 2017, a Hicksville homeowner and her ex-husband hired the defendant to represent them in the sale of their home. The complainants and their home purchasers entered a sales contract on February 4, 2017.
At the time of the contract signing, the buyers’ attorney provided a $40,000 down payment check made out to ‘Constantine Giannakos, as attorney’ that was deposited into Giannakos’ escrow account and held there until the closing.
Between February 4 and the scheduled closing date of September 27, the defendant and one of the complainants met at public locations including a Dunkin’ Donuts on Newbridge Road in Hicksville, not in a Syosset office the defendant claimed he had.
Following the closing on September 27, the defendant was supposed to remit the $40,000 down payment to his clients but never did so. The complainants made several subsequent requests for the money via phone and text messages but never received the money.
The NCDA received the case on October 24, 2017, after receiving a complaint from the homeowners.
A review of the escrow account showed Giannakos allegedly spent the $40,000 at Home Depot, on credit card payments, department stores, mortgage payments, and unrelated business expenses.
Giannakos was disbarred effective August 21, 2012.
Since 2012, the NCDA has prosecuted more than 20 attorneys for misconduct.
If you believe you may have been a victim of an unscrupulous attorney, please call the NCDA’s Tip Line at 516-571-7755.
Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Contreras of DA Singas’ Financial Crimes Bureau is handling this case. The Legal Aid Society represented the defendant at arraignment.
The charges are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.