Former Attorney Sentenced For $900,000 Mail Fraud Against Clients And Trust Beneficiaries
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – Kenneth Hoesch, age 59, formerly an attorney in Zeeland, Michigan, was sentenced to 78 months imprisonment and 3 years of supervised release for his embezzlement from trusts and trust accounts he controlled as an attorney on behalf of clients as well as his failure to report this ill-gotten income on his taxes, U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles announced today. In addition, United States District Judge Robert Jonker also ordered Hoesch to pay a special assessment of $200.00. Additionally, he was ordered to pay restitution to his victims in the amount of $1,295,518.19 and restitution to the Internal Revenue Service in the amount of $211,654.00.
“Kenneth Hoesch was an attorney who stole from his clients and preyed on seniors. His prosecution and sentence show justice will be served on those who do so whether that person uses a gun and a mask or a pen and a legal pad. Both harm society.” Miles stated.
U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Erick Martinez, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigation Division. “Kenneth Hoesch’s sentence today is evidence that no one is above the law. Hoesch violated the trust of vulnerable victims and now he will pay the price for that crime,” said Special Agent in Charge Erick Martinez.
In July of 2012, Hoesch pled guilty to one count of mail fraud and one count of filing a false tax return. According to court records, during 2006 through 2010 tax years, Hoesch worked as an attorney specializing in trusts and estate law. During this time period, Hoesch stole over $800,000 from his clients and trust beneficiaries and purposely falsified his federal income tax return when reporting his income. Of the $800,000 Hoesch stole, over $300,000 was embezzled directly from trust accounts intended for beneficiaries such as the American Cancer Society. His victim clients include the elderly and even the deceased. The remaining amount of over $600,000 was stolen through an Interest on Lawyers Trust Account (IOLTA) controlled by Hoesch. IOLTAs are a standard type of account where, for example, monies to be directed to clients or beneficiaries are held pending disbursement. Because he did not report to the IRS the income that he stole from his clients and beneficiaries, Hoesch knew his tax return was not correct. In sum, Hoesch failed to pay over $200,000 in tax due and owing to the IRS. Hoesch’s former law partners had no knowledge or involvement in the criminal activity.
This case was jointly investigated by the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department, the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Criminal Investigation Division of the IRS. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael MacDonald prosecuted the case. U.S. Attorney Miles praised the cooperation among local and federal law enforcement agencies by stating, “By working together we served justice and prevented further harm.”.