DA: Hicksville attorney stole from local homeowners
A disbarred attorney from Hicksville was arrested recently for allegedly stealing $40,000 from a Hicksville couple selling their home.
Constantine Giannakos, 51, was arraigned and charged with third-degree grand larceny, with bail set at $40,000 bond or $30,000 cash. His case has been adjourned until Nov. 7. If convicted of the top charge, Giannakos faces a maximum of three and a half to seven years in prison.
District Attorney Madeline Singas said in early 2017, a Hicksville homeowner and her ex-husband hired Giannakos to represent them in the sale of their home. The complainants and their home purchasers entered a sales contract on Feb. 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 Feb. 4, and the scheduled closing date of Sept. 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 Giannakos claimed he had.
Following the closing on Sept. 27, Giannakos 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 Nassau County District Attorney’s office received the case on Oct. 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 Aug. 21, 2012. Since 2012, the district attorney’s office has prosecuted more than 20 attorneys for misconduct. Officials urge anyone who believes they may have been a victim of an unscrupulous attorney, call the district attorney’s tip line at 516-571-7755.