Albany Attorney Charged with Defrauding Clients, Law Firm
ALBANY, NEW YORK – Albert Hessberg III, age 63, of Slingerlands, New York, appeared today in federal court on charges that he defrauded and stole money from his clients and former law firm.
The announcement was made by United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith and Janelle M. Miller, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
A criminal complaint charges Hessberg with wire fraud and mail fraud. Hessberg worked for 37 years in the Albany office of the law firm now known as Barclay Damon LLP, practicing in the area of trusts and estates. According to the complaint, in March 2018, the law firm terminated Hessberg for cause.
Hessberg is accused of stealing and concealing the theft of at least $328,000 entrusted to him by clients, as well as diverting to himself payments for legal services that should have been made to Barclay Damon. The charges in the complaint are merely accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Hessberg appeared today before United States Magistrate Judge Christian F. Hummel, who ordered him released with conditions, pending further proceedings.
If convicted, Hessberg faces up to 20 years in prison, a maximum $250,000 fine, and up to 3 years of post-imprisonment supervised release. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.
This case is being investigated by the FBI and being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Barnett.