Disbarred Attorney Sentenced to Jail, Ordered to Pay Restitution in Connection with Stealing Nearly $900,000 from Elderly Client, Estate, and Trust
WOBURN – A disbarred attorney has been sentenced to jail and ordered to pay restitution in connection with stealing a total of nearly $900,000 from an estate she represented, a beneficiary of that estate whose funds were in a trust she managed, and an elderly client, Attorney General Martha Coakley’s Office announced today.
Maureen F. Pomeroy, age 46, of Bedford, pleaded guilty on March 4 in Middlesex Superior Court to charges of Larceny over $250 from a Person 60 or Older (2 counts), Larceny over $250, and Embezzlement by Fiduciary.
On Monday, Middlesex Superior Court Judge Kimberly Budd sentenced Pomeroy to two-and-a-half years in the House of Correction, with one year to serve and the balance suspended with probation for two-and-a-half years. As a condition of probation, Pomeroy must remain on house arrest for one-and-a-half years and pay restitution in the amount of $277,292.
“This defendant took advantage of clients who entrusted her with access to their funds and believed that she would assist them with their best interests in mind,” said AG Coakley. “It is particularly appalling that she stole more than $800,000 from an elderly client and from someone who was grieving the loss of a family member. This defendant is being held accountable for these injustices and is no longer able to practice law.”
In May 2010, the AG’s Office began an investigation into Pomeroy’s activities after receiving a complaint from one of her former clients. During the time she practiced as an attorney, Pomeroy specialized in real estate and estate planning, and would routinely draft wills or other financial documents for her clients.
According to authorities, an 85-year-old man retained her services to prepare a will and other estate planning documents for him, and to assist him in obtaining funds from several bank accounts. Authorities allege that from July 2008 through October 2008, Pomeroy stole more than $810,000 from this client. Pomeroy used these funds for her personal benefit and used some of the elderly client’s funds to repay two clients from whom she had earlier misappropriated money.
According to authorities, in October 2007, Pomeroy handled a closing on the sale of a deceased man’s home under a power of attorney and concealed her receipt of more than $32,000 of sale proceeds. In addition, Pomeroy set up a trust for one of the deceased man’s adult sons. Pomeroy, who was trustee for the man, deposited amounts the man received into bank accounts she set up, but withdrew substantial sums, totaling more than her fees, from the account for her own benefit from January 2008 to June 2008. Pomeroy repaid the estate in September 2008, and also paid over $50,000 from her personal account on the deceased man’s son’s behalf in October 2008. In each instance she used funds belonging to the elderly client.
As a result of an investigation conducted by the Massachusetts Office of Bar Counsel, a justice of the Supreme Judicial Court ordered Pomeroy’s temporary suspension from practice in October 2009. Pomeroy later resigned, and was disbarred in February 2010.
A Middlesex Grand Jury returned indictments against Pomeroy in March 2011. Pomeroy was arraigned in May 2011 in Middlesex Superior Court at which time she entered a plea of not guilty and was released on personal recognizance. Pomeroy pleaded guilty to all charges on March 4 and was sentenced on March 11.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Molly Parks, Senior Counsel for AG Coakley’s Fraud and Financial Crimes Division, and was investigated by AG Coakley’s Director of Financial Investigations, Sallyann Nelligan. Victim/Witness Advocates Shannon Legrice and Ashley Cinelli assisted in the case.