Kenneth Hoesch, 59, was also ordered by U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker in Grand Rapids to pay nearly $1.3 million in restitution to his victims and another $211,654 to the Internal Revenue Service. The sentence was handed down Wednesday.
Hoesch was convicted of embezzlement from trusts and trust accounts he controlled as an attorney on behalf of clients, as well as his failure to report this ill-gotten income on his taxes, U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles said.
“Kenneth Hoesch was an attorney who stole from his clients and preyed on seniors," Miles said. "His prosecution and sentence show justice will be served on those who do so whether that person uses a gun and a mask or a pen and a legal pad. Both harm society.”
In July 2012, Hoesch pled guilty to one count of mail fraud and one count of filing a false tax return. According to court records, during 2006 through 2010 tax years, Hoesch worked as an attorney specializing in trusts and estate law. During this time period, he stole more than $800,000 from his clients and trust beneficiaries, and purposely falsified his federal income tax return when reporting his income.
Miles said more than $300,000 of the embezzled money was taken directly from trust accounts intended for beneficiaries such as the American Cancer Society. Victims included the elderly and even deceased people.
Hoesch’s former law partners had no knowledge or involvement in the criminal activity, Miles added.
The case was jointly investigated by the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department and several federal agencies.