– Attorney General Paula T. Dow and
Criminal Justice Director Stephen J. Taylor
announced that a lawyer from Westfield was
indicted today on charges that he stole $189,660
in closing funds related to a home sale that
were entrusted to him as the settlement agent.
to Director Taylor, the Division of Criminal
Justice Financial and Computer Crimes Bureau
obtained a state grand jury indictment charging
Amedeo “Matt” Gaglioti, 57,
of Westfield, with theft by failure to make
required disposition of property received
and misapplication of entrusted property,
both in the second-degree.
real estate agent hired Gaglioti to serve
as the settlement agent for the sale of
a home in Linden in June 2010. The sellers
had two outstanding mortgages on the property
totaling $189,660 that were required to
be satisfied for the sale. At the closing,
the necessary funds were wired into an attorney
trust account maintained by Gaglioti, who
was obligated to use the funds to pay off
the mortgages and provide proof of their
cancellation. However, he allegedly failed
to satisfy either mortgage. Instead, he
allegedly stole the funds, withdrawing them
from the trust account for unrelated purposes.
This left the home encumbered by three mortgages.
“Lawyers take an oath to be guardians
of the law and fiduciaries for their clients,
but we charge that this lawyer broke the
law by stealing funds that were entrusted
to him,” said Attorney General Dow.
prosecutions such as this one, we are working
to safeguard the public from unscrupulous
attorneys,” said Director Taylor.
crimes carry a maximum sentence of 10 years
in state prison and a $150,000 fine. The
indictment is merely an accusation and the
defendant is presumed innocent until proven
guilty. The indictment was handed up to
Superior Court Judge Linda R. Feinberg in
Mercer County, who assigned it to Union
Attorney General Jillian B. Carpenter and
Supervising Deputy Attorney General Terrence
Hull, Chief of the Financial and Computer
Crimes Bureau, presented the case to the
state grand jury. The case was investigated
by Lt. James MacInnes and Deputy Attorneys
General Carpenter and Hull. The New Jersey
Supreme Court suspended Gaglioti from practicing
law in New Jersey in November 2010 for failing
to cooperate in an investigation by the
Office of Attorney Ethics into his alleged
misappropriation of closing funds from several
real estate transactions.