Attorney-at-law Norman Leroy Lynch’s theft of thousands of dollars belonging to the estate of Arthur O’Neal Thomas has left that family stressed and depressed.
Hortensia Ward nee Thomas, the daughter of the deceased, gave that description of the impact the situation has had on her family, on Monday, in the sentencing phase of Lynch’s case before Justice Randall Worrell in the No. 2 Supreme Court.
Lynch was found guilty by a jury of stealing $50 000 belonging to the estate of Arthur O’Neal Thomas between August 18, 2005, and December 21, 2008, from a land
He was also found guilty of stealing $407 634, the proceeds of a FirstCaribbean International Bank cheque made payable to Leroy Lynch and belonging to Thomas’ estate, between June 22, 2007, and December 21, 2008; as well as money laundering in the disposal of $457 634, being the proceeds of crime, also between June 22, 2007, and December 21, 2008.
Speaking on behalf of her two brothers, Ward explained that as a result of not receiving the funds from Lynch, her
family had suffered emotionally and financially.
“Mr Norman Leroy Lynch lived a very lavish lifestyle while we struggled. It has been very difficult for my brothers and I . . . over the years of emotional and financial suffering because of this dishonest act. Thinking of the impact of Mr Lynch’s actions has always been a very horrible experience,” she told the court.
Ward disclosed that her mother now had to undergo a medical procedure but could not afford it because “we do not have the money and all of us are past retirement age and, therefore, we cannot obtain these finances from any financial institution.”
“Our father trusted Mr Lynch and my family trusted Mr Lynch to deal with us fairly and honestly . . . . It hurts just thinking of the entire process,” she said.
“What is more distressing . . . in my opinion . . . is that Mr Lynch showed no sign of remorse . . . during the entire trial.
“I truly hoped that Mr Lynch would recognise . . . his wrong of using our money to finance his lavish lifestyle and at least he could feel sorry for a family who trusted him . . . . We are very hurt – my brothers and I, my mother, even our extended family,” she added.
Ward lamented that the family has not been able to recover the money.
“We are ordinary working-class people of retirement age, all three of us. It is just that my father seized an opportunity to better himself and his family when he purchased that property and worked hard . . . and gave it to his children . . . . The only comfort we have is that my dear father did not live to witness this loss. . .
“It is a very stressful and depressing experience, it is very traumatic, it feels like a nightmare . . . . Many times I wished it was just a bad dream,” Ward said.
Lynch will be sentenced on March 13.