Criminal Justice

$1.7M cemetery theft gets lawyer up to 13 years; he's already serving federal time in tax case

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A New York lawyer brought in to oversee a cemetery’s operations after an official stole $850,000, helped himself to $1.77 million more, the state attorney general says.

Meanwhile, Timothy Griffin had allegedly embezzled nearly $1 million from money he held in escrow for real estate clients in his Westchester County law practice.

That led to a day of reckoning in Staten Island state court on Tuesday, where Griffin, now 55, was sentenced to a prison term between four and 13 years for grand larceny and gave a $1.77 million confession of judgment to United Hebrew Cemetery, reports the Staten Island Advance.

He is expected to plead guilty next week to grand larceny in Westchester County, in exchange for another four- to 13-year prison term that will run concurrently, state attorney general Eric Schneiderman told the newspaper. Griffin will also be ordered to pay $850,000 in restitution, the AG said.

Griffin was suspended from practice in November by the Appellate Division, 2nd Department.

He appeared in court Tuesday in the custody of federal agents, because he is currently serving a six-month sentence for tax evasion. That case was brought in Connecticut, his state of residence.

Related coverage: “Lawyer stole from cemetery so he could repay $1M he had stolen from clients, investigators say” “Lawyer guilty in cemetery theft; state AG says he stole $1.8M to refund $1M in client escrow money”

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