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Dear Son: I Stole From Firm Clients

Posted Jul 30, 2007 6:06 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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When attorney Christopher Hoyt began reading the letter from his father earlier this month, it was clear he wasn't going to be having a good day.

“I have embezzled funds from my clients,” his father, Clinton, Conn., attorney Jonathan Hoyt, wrote in the July 7 missive. It includes advice on how Christopher Hoyt can dissolve the firm and obtain money from malpractice insurers and surety bond companies to compensate clients for their losses. Jonathan Hoyt, 58, isn't around to help with that process because he disappeared around the time he wrote the letter to his son, who practices in the firm's New York City office, reports New York Lawyer (reg. req.), reprinting a Connecticut Law Journal article. His Lexus was found in a parking lot near a Bridgeport, Conn., transportation center.

Hoyt, who has been in practice since 1974, is a graduate of Southern Methodist University School of Law. The article says he had struggled financially in recent years, and has a history of depression, according to his son.

“Like most lawyers who fall into this trap I always did it with the idea that I would repay the funds," the senior Hoyt wrote, "but of course once I started down this slippery slope there was nothing but failure waiting for me at the end.”

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