A Monmouth County attorney has been arrested for stealing $285,000 from his clients, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced.
Steven H. Salami, 44, of Hazlet, was arrested Friday afternoon and charged with: two counts of misapplication of entrusted property, second-degree crimes; and three counts of misapplication of entrusted property, third-degree crimes. The arrest came after an investigation revealed he stole $285,000 from four victims from April through August, 2019. Salami is a practicing real estate attorney with a law office located in Hazlet.
He is currently being held in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution, Freehold, pending a detention hearing.
As a real estate attorney, Salami took funds from each victim for various real estate transactions and failed to do the work for which he was paid.
The funds, which were given to him with the intent that they would be held in escrow for various real estate deals, were never returned to the victims. Salami’s actions resulted in missed closing dates, nullified real estate transactions; and ultimately hardship to each victim.
The investigation was conducted by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office with assistance from the Hazlet Township Police Department.
If convicted of misapplication of entrusted funds, Salami faces a sentence of five to 10 years in a New Jersey state prison for each count. If convicted of the third-degree crimes, Salami faces a sentence of five to 10 years in a New Jersey state prison for each count.
If anyone has information or feels that they are a victim of a crime involving Steven H. Salami, please contact Sgt. Kevin Mahoney of the Monmouth County Special Prosecutions Bureau at 732-431-7160, extension 2945.
Anyone wishing to remain anonymous, but who has information about a crime can contact Monmouth County Crime Stoppers confidential telephone tip-line by calling 1-800-671-4400; can text “MONMOUTH” plus their tip to 274637; or, they can email a tip via the website at www.monmouthcountycrimestoppers.com. Monmouth County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of criminals and fugitives.