A North Castle man and former real estate attorney admitted to stealing approximately $2 million, the Westchester County District Attorney's office announced Wednesday.
Kevin Hymes, 40, pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree grand larceny, two counts of third-degree grand larceny and a single count of scheme to defraud. All of the counts are felonies.
“Today’s guilty plea holds this defendant accountable for fraudulent conduct that caused serious financial damage to his victims, who entrusted him with their personal affairs and bank accounts," District Attorney Janet DiFiore said in a press release. "He defrauded numerous clients regarding sales and purchases of multiple real estate properties throughout the metropolitan area. The public must have confidence that their sales and purchases are being honestly and ethically transacted, or as we have witnessed in the housing crisis that weare only now beginning to recover, the whole system will collapse.”
Hymes was accused of stealing over a five-and-a-half-year period, from Jan. 1, 2007 to June 27, 2012. A lawyer practicing in White Plains, Hynes stole from several people and entities, DiFiore's office said.
There were several cases of theft that involved transactions and Hymes as legal counsel, the district attorney's office claimed. They included stealing $318,453.33 from two clients in March 2010 relating to a property sale, and not giving the funds to them. Hymes was also accused of stealing about $1.4 million from various banks that he represented as a closing agent, and $123,500 in the spring of 2011 by not forwarding money to a property seller who was his client.
Other illicit actions, the office stated, included theft of a $33,000 deposit in the spring of 2010 from a prospective buyer, and of a $10,000 deposit in November 2010 of another prospective buyer. Hymes represented sellers in each case, the office stated. Hymes was arrested last June and faces up to 15 years in prison. He will be sentenced on April 23.
Hymes was also convicted on federal charges of conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud, DiFiore's office said, which was "in connection with a $58 million mortgage fraud scheme," which including sentencing on Jan. 28. Hymes' federal and state sentences are expected to run concurrently, DiFiore's office announced.