An East Hampton attorney has been arrested and charged with stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from clients and using the identity of a former law firm associate to steal more money, authorities said Friday.
Kyle T. Lynch, 42, was arraigned Wednesday in East Hampton Town Justice Court, pleading not guilty to three counts of second-degree grand larceny, one count of third-degree grand larceny, two counts of first-degree identity theft and two counts of unlawful possession of personal identifying information.
He was ordered held in lieu of $100,000 cash bail or $50,000 bond. It was not immediately known whether Lynch was represented by counsel.
Lynch’s license to practice law was suspended last year, according to the office of Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota.
East Hampton Village police Det. Steve Sheades said Friday that the investigation began with a complaint filed in August 2015.
In that complaint, Sheades said, a former associate of Lynch at Bainton Lynch LLP in East Hampton alleged that two credit cards had been opened in his name.
Investigators found Lynch had charged more than $50,000 to one card and $20,000 to the other, Sheades said. A second case involved an undisclosed amount of funds that were supposed to have been held in escrow during a real estate transaction, police said.
Sheades said that during the investigation the Suffolk district attorney’s economic crimes bureau discovered the theft of about $500,000 from the estate of an Orient woman being handled by Lynch.
Authorities said that woman, Helen 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. Police said those disbursements never happened.