Ex-Norwalk cop says lawyer stole $925,000 from house sale

NORWALK — Joe Jensen is still enjoying life.

But there was some tension after his lawyer allegedly stole around $925,000 from him, taking away the fruits of decades of work as a police officer and Norwalk owner.

His former attorney, Carl Ferraro, a resident of Darien, was arrested in June after police said he stole funds from a number of clients.

“It was a life of effort,” Jensen said in an interview. “It all went down the drain.”

The series of events began, Jensen said, after an unexpected windfall. After the death of his first wife, Jensen expected to remain a widower, but “a wonderful thing happened” – he “found love a second time”.

With this joyous momentum, Jensen decided to sell his house. Jensen said he was initially hesitant since he raised his children there and put time and effort into it, including painting the place twice. But the funds could help take care of his family, and letting go of the property would allow for a fresh start.

After navigating the process of selling a home for the first time in years, Jensen was compelled to seek out a real estate attorney. He said a former colleague-turned-lawyer recommended Ferraro.

“Things were going well for a while,” Jensen said, noting that Ferraro seemed sharp and competent. “Everything went well until the house was sold.”

The purchase took place on February 25. He said the buyer paid Ferraro, who in turn was to give him a check.

But days passed and Jensen said he hadn’t heard from Ferraro. Jensen said he eventually went to Ferraro’s office and received a check. But by the time he went to deposit it, Jensen claims the check had been voided.

“I was in disbelief. I was in shock,” Jensen said. “We were clueless.”

Jensen filed a police report and, following an investigation, Ferraro was arrested this month on eight counts of first-degree robbery. In legal proceedings, officials said Ferraro stole amounts ranging from $68,800 to $922,536 from customers between November 2021 and March 2022.

Ferraro’s attorney, Suzanne Sutton, of Bridgeport-based law firm Cohen and Wolf, said her client suffered from “serious mental and physical health issues” which precipitated his alleged crimes and arrest. Ferraro resigned from the Connecticut bar in April.

“He’s been struggling with these issues for a while, which really got us to this point,” she said.

“First and foremost, it’s very sad for the victims,” ​​she said. “There are too many victims, too much money and a lot of pain, but he has a lot of remorse.”

Jensen said he hopes the state’s Customer Safety Fund, set up for these types of circumstances, will eventually reimburse him.

In the meantime, Jensen said, he and his family manage to make ends meet — he has his pension from his service with the Norwalk police, a part-time job and part of Social Security.

But, despite the difficulty of the case, Jensen said he was happy to be alive. He and his wife had to cancel their travel plans, but they are enjoying their time together.

“Every day I wake up with a pulse, I’m thrilled,” Jensen said.

Writers Peter Yankowski and Verónica Del Valle contributed to this story.

[email protected]

About Michael Murphy

Check Also

NTSB report on plane crash that killed attorney Steve Barnes

PEMBROKE, NY — The National Transportation Safety Board on Wednesday released more than 120 pieces …