Financial advisor sentenced for role in trust fund scheme

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Albany, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Attorney General Letitia James announced on Tuesday the sentencing of financial advisor and lawyer Thomas Lagan to 4 to 12 years in prison for a scheme in which he and former Town of Guilderland Judge Richard Sherwood plundered over $9 million from family trusts they were responsible for overseeing.

Lagan pleaded guilty before Albany County Supreme Court Judge Thomas Breslin to Grand Larceny on May 1, 2019. According to the complaint Lagan and Sherwood have provided estate planning and related legal and financial services to Capital Region philanthropists Warren and Pauline Bruggeman and Pauline Bruggeman’s sister, Anne Urban, since at least 2006. The Bruggemans each created a revocable trust, which contained sub-trusts designed to provide for Anne Urban and Pauline’s other sister, Julia Rentz. Other funds were to be awarded to Anne Urban and Julia Rentz outright upon the deaths of the Bruggemans.

To date, law enforcement has recovered $5.5 million in criminal proceeds from the $9.8 million larceny.

Sherwood and Lagan allegedly formed the Empire Capital Trust to benefit themselves and funded it with over $1,000,000 of stolen money. In January 2015, they allegedly transferred $3,598,908 from AUIT to a Trustco Bank account in Sherwood’s name and $2,693,865.92 from the AUIT to a Trustco Bank account in Lagan’s name.

On June 11, 2018, Richard Sherwood pleaded guilty to Grand Larceny in the Second Degree. Sherwood faces up to three to ten years in prison.

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