Lawyer Sentenced to Prison for Stealing From Client

, The Connecticut Law Tribune

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Benson A. Snaider

A 76-year-old lawyer who had been convicted once before for first-degree larceny has been sent to prison for two years for stealing $175,000 from another client.

Benson Snaider of Woodbridge, a condemnation and land-use lawyer in New Haven, resigned from the practice of law in November 2012.

At his recent sentencing in Milford Superior Court, Snaider was tearful and apologetic over his actions. He was sentenced to eight years, suspended after two, with five years of probation.

He also must make restitution to his victim, Jonathan Zuckerman of Shelton.

According to the New Haven Register, Snaider told the judge he had a good law practice for 50 years, and the world was "a rosy place." Now, he and his wife are on Social Security. "Thank God, it's there," he said. Snaider put the blame on "human frailty."

Suzanne Sutton, who is handling the ethics case for the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel, said her office will be looking into suspension or disbarment.

"Although I cannot comment at this time what discipline we will be requesting, I will say that unless there are extenuating mitigating circumstances of which I am not yet aware, I believe a 12-year suspension or disbarment is appropriate," Sutton said.

Sutton said that Snaider was given a 12-year suspension for the earlier matter in Stamford, where he admitted misappropriating $800,000.

"Now that he has been convicted in the Milford matter, we will need to file another presentment for that misappropriation," she said.

In the Milford Superior Court judicial district case, Snaider was charged with misappropriating $175,000 from Zuckerman. He was arrested on Nov. 16, 2012, by Shelton police after accepting a business check and depositing it into a Citizens Bank account for his own use.

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