Former New Jersey Lawyer Sentenced To 33 Months In Prison For Embezzling More Than $885,000 In Law Firm Funds
TRENTON, N.J. – A former partner of a law firm based in Freehold, N.J., was sentenced today to 33 months in prison for defrauding the firm and its clients by improperly diverting more than $885,000 from the law firm, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Timothy Provost, 58, of Millstone Township, N.J., previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Michael A. Shipp to an information charging him with one count of mail fraud. Judge Shipp imposed the sentence today in Trenton federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Provost admitted that between April 2004 and January 2011, he embezzled from the law firm, which was not identified in court documents, by wrongfully writing checks from its attorney trust and business accounts to himself and his personal creditors to pay for his and his family’s personal expenses, including his mortgage, his children’s tuition and horse stable expenses. Provost then mailed some of the checks to his personal creditors. He further admitted to attempting to hide his theft by using the stolen funds to purchase cashier’s checks payable to his creditors or to himself.
Provost, who was a partner at the firm, had access to the law firm’s bank accounts in order to conduct real estate transactions on behalf of clients, including closings and refinancings. Provost’s embezzlement left several clients with double mortgages, which insurance then stepped in to cover. In total, Provost stole more than $885,000 from the attorney trust and business accounts for his personal benefit.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Shipp sentenced Provost to three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $887,134 in restitution.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford; and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni, for the investigation leading to today’s sentence.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Muoio of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Trenton.
Defense counsel: Nicholas Caliendo Esq., Freehold, N.J.