Attorney Timothy Griffin, 55, has been sentenced to a six-month prison stint in a pile up of criminal and unethical conduct, including the theft of $1.8 million from a non-profit Jewish cemetery. It turns out that he was not the first professional to victimize the cemetery.
Griffin was sentenced for tax evasion by a federal judge in Connecticut. However, he is facing a much longer sentence after pleading guilty in a separate case in New York for stealing the money from the United Hebrew cemetery. He could receive 9 years for that crime. He is also expected to plead guilty to stealing another $1 million in embezzled funds from real estate client escrow accounts.
What is incredible is that Griffin was asked to serve as acting president of United Hebrew Cemetery after he predecessor stole $850,000. Griffin took over for former president Arthur Friedman and his wife, Ilana (right), who stole the over $850,000 between 2005 and 2011. Arthur Friedman, 56, was the Superintendent and a director of United Hebrew Cemetery while she would later serve as a director and worked as the cemetery’s No. 2 administrator. Prosecutors said that the husband failed to stop the thievery of his wife and benefited from it. Ilana Friedman, 51, was convicted of felony grand larceny charges in April 2013. The two defendants even charged groceries to the cemetery as well as other items like jewelry and theater tickets. Both are banned from working in the funeral or cemetery industries again.
If Griffin pledged to do better that the Friedmans, he succeeded . . . he then stole nearly $2 million more.
His attorney cited a drinking problem and high divorce costs with six children requiring support. However, prosecutors said that some of the money was used on a country club membership, luxury vehicles and jewelry.