Grand jury: Kentucky lawyer stole more than $800,000 meant for car crash victim’s children

Published 6:41 am Saturday, March 27, 2021

A Kentucky lawyer is accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars meant to be distributed to the children of a Pike County man killed in a car wreck.

Timothy Belcher, of Elkhorn City,  faces more than 200 years in prison on 10 counts of theft and tax evasion.

Belcher was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury in connection with the theft of money that should have gone to the heirs of Samuel Johnson who was killed in an accident 2001.

Johnson’s family hired Belcher, who had obtained a large settlement in 2004 for the family with half going to Johnson’s widow and the other half being divided among Johnson’s children.

Court records show that in 2007, Belcher put as much as $817,155 in an escrow account. The account had been reportedly been reduced to $389 in 2018 when the family hired other attorneys to determine what happened with the money.

In 2019, Belcher admitted he had used the money for business and personal expenses, including mortgages, food, insurance and cell phones

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

Tax evasion charges stem from Belcher’s filing of tax returns for 2013, 2014 and 2016, which did not include the money he had taken, the indictment said.

On his 2014 return, for instance, he listed his total income as $25,125, but didn’t count $165,000 he embezzled, the indictment charged.