White-Collar Crime

House arrest for disbarred lawyer in $400K client theft; another gets time in $885K case

A twice-disbarred Massachusetts lawyer avoided jail for stealing over $400,000 from multiple clients.

However, Raymond J. Paczkowski Sr., 77, was sentenced on Wednesday in Middlesex Superior Court to spend two years on house arrest, wearing a GPS monitor, after he pleaded guilty to multiple larceny counts, reports the Lowell Sun. That will be followed by three years of probation, and he is also required to pay $479,000 in restitution.

He was accused of preying on clients, one of them disabled, who were seeking to pay off mortgages as part of the probate of an estate. The state’s top court entered a disbarment order against him in 2010, accepting his resignation from law practice. A Gatehouse News Service article published at the time provides additional details.

Meanwhile, another disbarred lawyer was sentenced Thursday to 33 months in federal prison for embezzling $885,000 between 2004 and 2011 from the Freehold, N.J., law firm in which he was then a partner, reports the Asbury Park Press.

Timothy Provost, now 58, pleaded guilty last year to one count of mail fraud in federal court in Trenton, admitting that he had used over $885,000 in client funds to pay personal expenses including his mortgage, tuition for his children and horse expenses, the Star Ledger reported at the time.

He reportedly embezzled funds intended to be used to pay off mortgages at real estate closings, leaving some clients with double mortgages eventually covered by insurance.

Provost is also required to pay over $887,000 in restitution. His prison term will be followed by three years of supervised release.

Provost was disbarred last year, as the New Jersey Law Journal then reported.

We welcome your comments, but please adhere to our comment policy and the ABA Code of Conduct.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.