Edgartown lawyer Edward “Pete” Vincent appeared in Edgartown District Court Friday, November 4 and admitted that he stole nearly $600,000 of his client’s money, as part of a plea agreement accepted by Presiding Justice H. Gregory Williams.
Mr. Vincent admitted that if the case had gone to trial, the prosecutor had sufficient facts to prove two charges of larceny against him. Two separate charges of fiduciary embezzlement were dismissed.
Judge Williams continued the case without a finding. If there are no further allegations for one year, the larceny charges would be dismissed. From the bench, Judge Williams noted Mr. Vincent has no criminal record, but also issued a strongly worded admonishment. The court ordered Mr. Vincent to perform 100 hours of community service, and he will remain on probation for two years.
The charges stem from two real estate transactions last fall, when Mr. Vincent accepted money from parties to the transactions, but failed to pay off mortgages and turn over proceeds from a sale.
Two civil suits against him were dismissed, after Mr. Vincent repaid all of the missing money with proceeds from a land sale. Mr. Vincent did not give police or the court an account of what he did with the missing money.
Cape and Island’s Assistant District Attorney Laura Marshard and attorney Robert Jubinville, who represented Mr. Vincent, did not agree on a disposition to present to Judge Williams, but each submitted their own recommendations for the court to consider.
Ms. Marshard asked the court for guilty pleas on the two larceny charges, probation, and community service.
Ms. Marshard said she considered the wishes of the people victimized in the larcenies, when recommending a plea.
“They told us they received their money and they were not looking for any further punishment,” Ms. Marshard told The Times Tuesday. “They preferred to have the case resolved with repayment of the money. Because of their input, the district attorney’s office was looking for guilty pleas, probation, and community service.”
Mr. Jubinville could not be reached for comment.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court temporarily suspended Mr. Vincent’s license to practice law on July 7. The Board of Bar Overseers, which disciplines attorneys, is considering further sanctions. The board could decide on a range of sanctions, from no punishment to disbarment.