On Wednesday, July 5, 2023, the New York Post reported that attorney Brandon Labiner, a suspended Florida attorney, who was allegedly accused of stealing $450,000 from his mother’s trust fund, is accused of murdering his father.
Mr. Labiner was suspended by the Supreme Court of Florida pursuant to the petition for emergency suspension filed by the Florida Bar – Fr. Lauderdale Branch alleging the same committing misappropriation of funds, forgery, and misrepresentations. According to a report, the Bar’s investigation indicates that during the period of June 7, 2022, through August 24, 2022, the respondent misappropriated at least $451,219.58 of Mindy Labiner’s (respondent’s mother) funds from the Labiner SLAT Trust for his personal benefit, not for the purpose intended by the latter.
Following the suspension, the New York Post reported that Mr. Labiner was apprehended and formally accused of committing first-degree murder when a relative stumbled upon a deceased individual near a parking garage situated behind the Monterey, a building complex that accommodated his father Paul Labiner’s law office. The identity of the victim remains undisclosed by the authorities due to the invocation of Marsy’s Law by the victim’s family, which restricts the public disclosure of the victim’s name. Nevertheless, various media outlets and reports mentioned the victim as Paul Labiner. Law enforcement officials identified a person of interest who had barricaded themselves within a structure and only emerged following the intervention of a SWAT team and a negotiator, as reported by the Boca Raton Police.
The authorities who are involved in the incident stated, “The subject cooperated and was taken into custody without incident. At the time, the subject was arrested on an active warrant.” The police made a discovery in a public restroom’s trash can, consisting of a gun cleaning kit and a piece of paper bearing the name of an attorney. Subsequently, they found several items in the suspect’s car, including a drawstring backpack, a magazine for a .9mm firearm, multiple boxes of ammunition from different brands, a gun box, a gas can, a lighter, gloves, and a face mask, as reported by the outlet.
The father and son, Paul Labiner and Brandon Labiner, had a troubled relationship as revealed in court documents. Paul filed a lawsuit against Brandon, accusing him of stealing a substantial amount of money from his mother’s trust, amounting to $445,198.53. Additionally, Paul alleged that Brandon’s poor work performance as an attorney resulted in a significant decline in the firm’s business, leading Paul to file a civil suit against him. The lawsuit claimed damages of $30,000 and highlighted Brandon’s alleged theft from the company.
Paul and Brandon had been partners at the law firm Paul had established in the 1980s. However, their partnership came to an end when Paul accused Brandon of subpar performance and theft. County court documents from the civil suit alleged that Brandon’s work ethic and performance caused the firm’s caseload to diminish drastically. Only a few viable cases were left, according to the documents. The strained relationship between the father and son sheds light on the complex dynamics that preceded the tragic events.
During an incident, Brandon Labiner was involved in a physical altercation with his father, Paul Labiner, resulting in injuries to Paul, as stated in the lawsuit. As a consequence, Brandon was instructed to leave the office premises. Dissatisfied with his father’s decision, Brandon surreptitiously entered the office on June 1, 2022, where he stole computer equipment, gained unauthorized access to his father’s email by changing the passwords, and took a business checkbook.
The next day, Paul Labiner filed an urgent petition to have Brandon removed as a trustee of the Labiner SLAT (Spousal Access Lifetime Trust). However, a judge deemed the matter non-urgent. Paul’s daughter, Arielle N. Bergman, was nominated as the first-level successor trustee, and Mindy Labiner, the sole beneficiary, supported the removal of Brandon as trustee out of concern that he would misuse the trust and misappropriate assets for himself and his wife. In a matter of days following the filing of the petition to remove Brandon as a trustee, he began selling business assets and siphoning off the proceeds into accounts benefiting himself and his wife, according to the allegations. This sequence of events highlights the escalating tension and alleged misconduct within the family dynamics surrounding the case.
Brandon Labiner appeared for the first time in Palm Beach County court, where he faced formal charges of premeditated first-degree murder with a firearm. In response to the charges, Brandon Labiner’s criminal defense lawyer Valentin Rodriguez informed the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that his client disputes the allegations and is currently mourning the loss of his father.
Source: New York Post