Kentucky lawyer charged with stealing from victim’s children

Timothy Belcher, of Elkhorn City, was indicted on Thursday on seven charges of fraud and three charges of filing false tax returns.

PIKEVILLE, Ky. — A federal grand jury this week charged an Eastern Kentucky attorney with stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars that was meant for the children of a man killed in a car wreck, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

Timothy Belcher, of Elkhorn City, was indicted on Thursday on seven charges of fraud and three charges of filing false tax returns.

In 2001, Belcher represented the the widow of a man killed in a car wreck in Pike County in a wrongful-death lawsuit. He won a settlement in 2004, with half the money going to the widow and half to an escrow account for the man’s children.

Belcher controlled the account and was supposed to distribute the money to the children later. Instead, he used it for business and personal expenses, including mortgages, food, insurance and cell phones, the indictment said.

In 2007, there was $817,155 in the account, but by 2018, there was just $389 left, the indictment said.

When confronted in 2019 by another attorney acting on behalf of the family, Belcher admitted he had spent the money and was “sick and broke,” according to a Supreme Court order.

A grand jury in Pike County indicted Belcher in July 2019, and the state Supreme Court suspended his license two months later.

Belcher filed tax returns for 2013, 2014 and 2016 that didn’t include the money he had taken, the indictment said.

The bank fraud charges against Belcher are punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

►Make it easy to keep up-to-date with more stories like this. Download the WHAS11 News app now. For Apple or Android users.  

Have a news tip? Email assign@whas11.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter feed.