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White-Collar Crime

Outside counsel, in charge of cemetery after bookkeeper’s theft, is charged with taking almost $2M

Posted Feb 12, 2014 12:25 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Appointed by a New York cemetery to take over its top job after the president's wife, who served as its bookkeeper, stole $850,000, the organization's outside counsel is now accused of embezzling nearly $2 million.

The indictment and arrest of attorney Timothy Griffin was announced Monday by state Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman. Charged with multiple counts of grand larceny, Griffin pleaded not guilty on Monday and is being held in lieu of $750,000 bond or $250,000 cash bail, according to the New York Daily News, the Staten Island Advance and the Jewish Voice.

Court filings say Griffin, 54, took the money from Staten Island's United Hebrew Cemetery between October 2012 and January of this year, via unauthorized six-figure wire transfers to his attorney escrow account.

The Advance says his lawyer could not be reached for comment.

The cemetery's former bookkeeper, Ilana Friedman, pleaded guilty to grand larceny last year and got probation.

A press release by the state attorney general's office provides additional details about the Richmond County Supreme Court case.

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