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Attorney to serve 2 to 6 years for stealing from Orient woman’s estate

A former East Hampton attorney who pleaded guilty to stealing over $500,000 from an Orient woman’s estate in April was sentenced Tuesday on all eight charges he was facing, including identity theft and grand larceny.

Kyle Lynch will serve two to six years, but will serve most of his sentence outside of prison on parole providing he completes the Willard Drug Treatment Program in Seneca County, according to New York State Supreme Court Justice Mark Cohen.

Mr. Lynch was a partner in the now-defunct Bainton Lynch law firm in East Hampton and he was convicted of using the identity of Carl Irace, an attorney and former associate from that firm, to secure a line of credit to divert an additional $50,000 to his business account.

He was arrested in February 2017, and the crimes started in 2014, the DA’s office previously said. His license to practice law was suspended in August 2016.

When Judge Cohen asked Mr. Lynch if he was of sound mind to proceed with the sentencing, he responded with “I don’t know.”

“I have suicidal tendencies all over me,” Mr. Lynch said, adding later that he attempted suicide years ago after his brother died of cancer.

Judge Cohen said that he would receive his medication in prison.

Assistant District Attorney Dina Cangero spoke on behalf of the late Helen Chalmers, whose estate Mr. Lynch stole from, saying that he used her money to benefit his own lifestyle and business.

Mr. Lynch’s attorney, Eric Besso, and Mr. Irace both declined to comment after the sentencing. Mr. Irace gave a short victim impact statement in which he said he would be at peace after Mr. Lynch was held accountable for his actions.

“I’ve never had a bad record in my life,” Mr. Lynch said to Judge Cohen. “My father was suffering from strokes and I had taken him in.”

“I cracked,” he added. He also told the judge that he has voluntarily gone through electroshock therapy to treat a chemical imbalance he has had since 2007.

The same year the crimes began, Mr. Lynch was interviewed by The Suffolk Times about Ms. Chalmers, who left money to several community groups in her will. He described her as a personal friend, who lived largely in isolation since her husband’s death in 2008. She died in late 2013 after suffering injuries from a fall inside her home on Ryder Farm Lane, according to Mr. Lynch at the time.

He also said she had no family living nearby, but after the story was published in July 2014, people came forward claiming to be relatives of Ms. Chalmers. He pleaded guilty in April to the felony charges.

Mr. Lynch thanked the court for giving him this sentence, and Judge Cohen said that he can thank him by turning his life around.

Photo caption: Kyle Lynch looks over the will of Helen Chalmers during a 2014 interview with The Suffolk Times. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

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