Investigators exclusive: Lawyer who held $500,000 settlement disbarred

BENSONHURST, Long Island (WABC) -- A Long Island attorney is off the job after the Eyewitness News Investigators dug into why it took him months to pay his injured client the $500,000 settlement he had won.

The last time we tried to speak to Paul Vesnaver, he had no good explanation for why his injured client still hadn't received the half-million dollars.

The Investigators' Jim Hoffer: "Well, you said you just sent the check. The first one bounced."
Vesnaver: "That was from a wrong account."

After our investigation, he finally paid his client. But our report also triggered an investigation by the Judicial Grievance Committee, which found similar complaints from other clients about Vesnaver holding on to their settlement money.

Just weeks ago, under the threat of being disbarred by the court, Vesnaver submitted his resignation on the grounds of professional misconduct and failure to safeguard client funds. He is no longer able to practice law in the state of New York.

"He needs more," client Xhevat Misku said. "It's not enough, just to resign."

Misku, who still suffers from his construction injuries, is unforgiving when it comes to the man whom he claims tried to keep his money.

"For me, he has to go to jail," he said.

We made several attempts to reach Vesnaver, but no one answered at his home. And at his office, we were told he retired. Meanwhile, Misku's son Adnan wonders how many other clients may still be out there with diminishing hopes of ever getting their money. Some, he says, have reached out to him out of desperation.

"I had someone from the Bronx call in," he said. "I had another person from Massachusetts call in. It was a lady, and she said that he owes her up to $200,000, that she's got no way of getting it."

Vesnaver is prohibited from even working as a law clerk in the state for at least seven years.
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