An East Hampton attorney has admitted stealing more than $750,000 combined from a former law firm co-worker and two former clients, including the estate of a deceased Orient woman, prosecutors said Thursday.
Kyle T. Lynch, 43, a former managing partner at the now-defunct law firm of Bainton Lynch LLP in East Hampton, pleaded guilty Friday in Suffolk County Court in Riverhead to four counts of grand larceny and two counts of identity theft, according to the Suffolk County district attorney’s office.
He is expected to be sentenced on June 19 to 2 to 6 years in prison, according to Sheila Kelly, a spokeswoman for Suffolk District Attorney Timothy Sini.
Lynch submitted an application for the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision’s Willard Drug Treatment Program. The court indicated that Lynch potentially could be entered into the program, pending a pre-sentence investigation by the county probation department, Kelly said.
Lynch’s attorney, Eric Besso of Sayville, declined to comment.
East Hampton Village police said the investigation began in 2015 when a former law firm associate of Lynch alleged that two credit cards had been opened in his name. Investigators found Lynch had charged more than $60,000 to one card and more than $24,000 to the other.
Authorities said Lynch also stole nearly $580,000 from the estate of a client, Helen Chalmers, an Orient woman who died in 2013. The money was supposed to have been held in escrow during a real estate transaction, police said.
Chalmers had willed the bulk of her estate to relatives and various North Fork organizations — including the Greenport school district and Eastern Long Island Hospital in Greenport. But authorities said those disbursements never occurred, and Lynch deposited the funds into the firm’s business account.
Lynch also stole nearly $90,000 from an escrow account of Thomas Rudegair, another former client of the firm, officials said.
Lynch was arrested in February 2017 and his license to practice law was suspended. He has agreed to pay restitution to all of his victims, Kelly said.