Real Estate Lawyer Mitch Kossoff Missing Amid Escrow Fund Lawsuits

Two owners filed suits against Kossoff as reports of clients unable to reach him for days surfaced.

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Real estate lawyer Mitchell Kossoff was hit with lawsuits from landlords trying to get back millions of dollars in escrow funds, as reports surfaced of clients being unable to reach him for days, court records show.

SSM Realty Group and 537 Associates filed separate lawsuits on Wednesday, alleging that Kossoff hasn’t given them funds from their escrow accounts and ghosted the firms last month, The Real Deal first reported.

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SSM wants to get back $1.3 million in funds from its escrow account, while 537 Associates sued Kossoff for $2.59 million after he didn’t transfer $440,000 from its escrow account on March 26, court records show.

Kossoff, SSM’s lawyer and Robert Yaffa, owner of 537 Associates, did not respond to requests for comments.

In emails submitted with SSM’s lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court, Kossoff wrote that his accounts were frozen in recent months so he couldn’t give back the money, but was reaching out to his mother to “secure alternate funds to wire to you.”

However, TRD reported that his clients and the partners at his eponymous law firm have been unable to reach Kossoff for “several days.” 

Landlords previously listed as clients on Kossoff’s website did not respond to requests for comment from Commercial Observer.

Aside from the suits, two confessions of judgments were filed on Wednesday against Kossoff from merchant cash advance companies, after Kossoff defaulted on a combined nearly $730,000 worth of loans, court records show.