She gave him her trust — and $245,000 — but an Englewood attorney used that money and more to help out other clients, authorities said.
Gordon Allen Washington, of 17 North Dean Street, “enticed” Shirley McDougald in April 2006 to invest in what was known as “The Pamrapo Project,” Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said.
He promised her a 20-percent return on her investment, even though the property was actually tied up by three separate mortgages, Molinelli said.
She also didn’t know that Washington, 50, had snatched $14,300 from her trust fund to pay another client’s inheritance tax, he said.
It didn’t stop there, Molinelli said: The lawyer dipped into the trust fund again, this time for $41,405 to help a couple named Thelma and Vernon Dickson qualify for a mortgage.
“In attempting to secure the mortgage for the Dicksons, Washington also submitted fictitious real estate closing documents,” Molinelli said. “He altered the sales contract and HUD-1 statement by grossly inflating the selling price of the home so they could qualify for a bigger mortgage.”
Washington, who was arrested Wednesday afternoon, is scheduled for a first court appeareance Friday on charges of theft and forgery. He remains free on a summons until then.
MUGSHOT: Courtesy Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office
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