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Commercial Division Blog

Current Developments in the Commercial Divisions of the
New York State Courts
Posted: January 29, 2016

Conversion Claim Based on Transfer of Funds in Defendant’s Escrow Account to Third Party Upheld

On January 19, 2016, the First Department issued a decision in Grasshoff v. Etra, 2016 NY Slip Op. 00304, upholding a conversion claim based on the defendant’s transfer of funds in its escrow account to a third-party.

In Grasshoff, the trial court granted the plaintiff summary judgment based on evidence “showing that he transferred his personal funds into an apparent escrow account maintained by defendant, that defendant intentionally retransferred those funds to a different individual without plaintiff’s permission, and that the transfer effectively deprived plaintiff of the funds, which were never recovered.” The First Department affirmed, holding that those facts established a claim for conversion of the escrowed funds.

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