A disbarred lawyer was convicted of fraud in connection with real estate deals in the Bronx and Westchester County, where he acted as an attorney despite having lost his law license, the New York Journal News reported Sunday.

Howard Thaler of Manhattan, 60, faces up to 59 years in prison and more than $2 million in fines when he is sentenced in U.S. District Court in White Plains, media reports said.

Salvatore LoBreglio, a former Westchester County Independence Party official, previously pleaded guilty in the case, admitting he had told a witness to lie to federal agents, according to accounts.

LoBreglio was sentenced in October to a year of probation, media accounts said. Tapes introduced at the Thaler trial showed that he also agreed to help LoBreglio get a fraudulent loan in exchange for LoBreglio’s purported influence with federal judges, federal prosecutors told the Journal News.

Thaler was disbarred in 1998 for misconduct in real estate deals, accounts said, but continued to hold himself out as a real estate lawyer.

He used various corporate fronts to buy homes in the Bronx and Westchester that were on the verge of foreclosure, and then flipped, or quickly resold, them at a substantial profit, reports said.

In one case, he sold a home in Yonkers for $240,000 just hours after buying it for $160,000, illegally acting as the purchaser’s attorney in the deal, without telling her he was the seller, authorities told the Journal News.

In another case, he had a man act as a stand-in for the deceased owner of a home in the Bronx so Thaler could act as the attorney for a client he found to buy it, reports said.

Thaler is scheduled to be sentenced March 2 by U.S. District Judge Charles Brieant.


Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to janis@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 140.

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