Two recent developments in law firm/lawyer embezzlement news …
A former bookkeeper at San Francisco medical malpractice and personal injury firm Bostwick, Peterson & Mitchell was sentenced just before Christmas for helping himself to $9 million of the firm’s funds over about nine years.
San Francisco Superior Court Judge Kay Tsenin sentenced the former bookkeeper, Richard Thomas, to 10 years in state prison. He’ll also have to pay $8.7 million in restitution.
When audits are really helpful, after the jump ...
While it’s mostly “water under the bridge,” said partner James Bostwick, it does offer some relief. “It took way too long, but of course it’s good to see him transferred from county jail to state prison.”
Bostwick said the firm uncovered Thomas’ transgressions in 2005, when he started acting suspiciously during an audit of the firm’s finances. “He caused a lot of harm along the way,” Bostwick said. “He was a person we trusted for 10 years.”
And in San Mateo County Superior Court this week, a restitution hearing was being set in the case of former attorney Edward Duff Hume, who was sentenced to four years in state prison in September after pleading no contest to transferring money from the trust of a client after the man died. Hume resigned from the State Bar in April 2008. The San Mateo County district attorney’s office is asking for restitution of just over $1 million for that client and two other former clients.
— Kate Moser