Lawyer kept $10K intended as restitution
By Liz Zemba
Published: Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Greg Lockhart and James Fisher Jr. said they each entrusted a disbarred Fayette County attorney with thousands of dollars because they believed his assurances he could keep their loved ones out of jail.
Instead, both men said, they found out the day their loved ones were to be sentenced that Nicholas Timperio Jr. failed to use the cash to make restitution. They were forced to come up with the cash a second time, they said, to honor requirements in plea bargains.
“My grandson was to make restitution for a plea bargain, which Mr. Timperio guaranteed,” Lockhart said on Monday, after Timperio entered guilty pleas before President Judge John F. Wagner Jr. to theft and receiving stolen property.
“It all turned out to be lies,” said Lockhart, 70, of Republic. “Nick pocketed the money.”
State police said Timperio, 45, of Uniontown, failed to put $10,534 that the men gave him toward restitution in two criminal cases. Lockhart gave Timperio $2,060 toward a case involving his grandson, while Fisher gave the attorney $8,474.
Lockhart said he paid restitution a second time, through a different attorney, when prosecutors advised him a victim in his grandson's case never received the initial payment of $2,060.
Fisher, 36, of McClellandtown, said he found out at his fiancé's sentencing that restitution had not been made, forcing him to make a second payment and to question Timperio.
“I called him, and he said he would make restitution to the Clerk of Courts Office, but he never did,” Lockhart said. “I'm out $20,000 on this.”
Timperio's plea bargain calls for a sentence in the standard range, which, according to Senior Deputy Attorney General Anthony Krastek, extends from probation to a minimum of nine months in jail. Krastek said the sentence will depend on whether Timperio makes restitution.
“Everybody is of the understanding that the judge is of the mind if restitution is paid, that will have the biggest effect on the sentence,” Krastek said. “The victims just want their money.”
Lockhart and Fisher said after the hearing they would rather have restitution than see Timperio jailed.
“What good is it going to do, to put him in jail?” Lockhart said. “Why put him in jail, and let the taxpayers take care of him?”
In addition to the criminal cases, Timperio is listed as a defendant in more than two dozen civil complaints alleging professional liability.
In one case, a Uniontown couple contends they lost their home to foreclosure when Timperio did nothing after they retained him. In another, a Lemont Furnace man contends he lost his right to recover damages in a vehicle accident when Timperio missed the two-year statute of limitations deadline.
Timperio is to be sentenced in the criminal cases at 9:30 a.m. Nov. 14 before Wagner.
Liz Zemba is a reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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