An escrow agent “not only has a contractual duty to follow the escrow agreement, but additionally becomes a trustee of anyone with a beneficial interest in the trust” (Takayama v Schaefer, 240 AD2d 21, 25). Accordingly, the escrow agent has a duty not to deliver the property held in escrow to anyone except upon “strict compliance with the conditions imposed” in the escrow agreement (id. at 25 [internal quotation marks omitted]). “Thus, an escrow agent can be held liable for breach of the escrow agreement and breach of fiduciary duty as escrowee” (id. at 25; see Grinblat v Taubenblat, 107 AD2d 735). An attorney holding funds in escrow owes a fiduciary duty “to anyone with a beneficial interest in the trust'” (Levit v Allstate Ins. Co., 308 AD2d 475, 477, quoting Takayama v Schaefer, 240 AD2d at 25).
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