• A 55-year-old convicted thief successfully won a $12.5 million lawsuit against his victims
  • He was able to convince a jury his victims were to blame for his criminal conviction after they failed to appear in court
  • The victims' family claimed they were unaware that the lawsuit had gone to trial 

A convicted thief in Queens, New York, allegedly won a $12 million lawsuit against a family he conned over a decade ago because the victims failed to appear in court.

Jacob Milton, 55, could walk away with $12.5 million after he convinced a Manhattan jury that his victims were to blame for his criminal conviction, The New York Post reported, citing court documents.

Milton — a Bangladeshi immigrant who previously worked as a mortgage broker — was accused of taking out large mortgages and running up huge credit card bills on behalf of more than half a dozen unsuspecting victims in 2007, six of whom were related.

He pleaded guilty to grand larceny and served three years in jail. Milton was sentenced to two to six years in prison in 2010, according to the Queens District Attorney's Office.

Milton lodged a $50 million lawsuit against the people he stole from about a year after he was released and claimed they had wrongly accused him, court documents showed.

The same family Milton stole over $1 million from by swiping the IDs of six unsuspecting members, however, has claimed that they had no idea the lawsuit filed against them had gone to trial until an Aug. 5 letter informed them that they owed Milton $12.5 million.

"How can victims of his fraud 'repay' him this amount when their financial lives are still hurt by this?" one of the victims' family members, Kate Alvarez, was quoted as saying by the New York Post.

The family — Mayra Macias, Juan C. Alvarez, Juan B. Alvarez, Lorena Alvarez, Martha Viteri and Hector Sandoval — allegedly hired lawyer Noah Goldstein initially to fight the case. But Goldstein later dropped out of the case, and the family failed to hire a new lawyer or respond to orders from the judge directing them to appear in court.

"The family said they had no idea a trial was scheduled and held, and a judgment awarded until last week," Goldstein, who has reconnected with the family, said.

"The jury, seeing an empty defendant’s chair, probably [thought] they [were] supposed to believe Milton and give him what he wants," the lawyer explained.

Milton's lawyer, John DeMaio, told the court in 2017 that he had mailed the victims various documents alerting them to the proceedings, legal papers showed.

Kate, however, claimed that the victims never received a letter stating any court date or a document saying they had to appear in court.

The family can go back to court and try to wipe out the judgment or appeal, Office of Court Administration Lucian Chalfen said.

Goldstein was expected to meet with the victims Monday, he told The Post.

Milton has maintained his innocence despite his guilty plea. He told the outlet that the prosecutors who handled his case allegedly misrepresented evidence. He also repeated his allegations that his victims in the criminal case had falsely accused him.

Representation. Jacob Milton, 55, could walk away with $12.5 million from his victims after they failed to appear in court for trial. Pixabay