Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced that Vincent Mitchell (age 58), of Coventry, pleaded nolo contendere Thursday to one count of embezzlement over $100. Superior Court Magistrate Patrick T. Burke sentenced Mitchell to 20 years with 8 to serve at the ACI and the balance suspended with probation. Mitchell was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,302,232.75.
Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that from October 1, 2014 to September 8, 2017, Mitchell embezzled over $1.3 million from 11 clients of his estate planning practice by executing a Ponzi scheme. Mitchell set up a limited liability corporation to accept funds from his clients who believed they were participating in a legitimate estate planning situation. Instead, Mitchell used the funds invested in the LLC to cover losses from his personal and law practice bank accounts, which stemmed from his drug, alcohol, and gambling habits. Due to the nature of his estate planning services, his victims were older adults, some of whom have since passed away.
The Rhode Island State Police Financial Crimes Unit led the investigation. Special Assistant Attorney General Peter Roklan and Elder Abuse Investigator Mickaela Driscoll prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of the Attorney General.