Cumberland- A former lawyer who pleaded guilty in Superior Court to embezzling $245,000 from a client has been sentenced to five years of home confinement and five year's probation. Robert L. Simmons pleaded guilty on May 13 to embezzling $245.00 into a bank account that he controlled, rather than the clients account.
The case, investigated by the attorney general's White Collar Crime Unit, included evidence that Simmons deposited the money over a three year period, between 1994 and 1997, according to a news release from the attorney general's office. In addition to his 10 year sentence, Simmons (his son paid) has repaid the money to his former client, the estate of Ruth Wheaton Law.
Simmons was removed as the estate's attorney by the Cranston Probate Court in 1996. The court referred him to the Rhode Island Supreme Court's Disciplinary Counsel, which began an investigation that led to the suspension of his law practice. The counsel then referred the case to the attorney general.
Note: The Attorney Generals office was only allowed to go after the amount stolen. This does not include back taxes, penalties, lawyers fees, interest, and aggravation.