Former Newport lawyer sentenced for stealing money from former client

Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 6:14 PM EST
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - A former Newport lawyer will spend two years behind bars for stealing thousands of dollars from a former client.

Dale Thistle, 75, learned his sentence in a Bangor courtroom Friday afternoon.

Thistle was found guilty of theft by misappropriation back in July.

He pocketed about $290,000 from a settlement he negotiated that was intended for the estate of Gilman Friend of Newport.

During his trial, Thistle’s lawyer argued that a brain injury he suffered when he was hit by a drunk driver is to blame for his actions.

While the jury dismissed the idea, Thistle said Friday he never would have taken the money if not for the crash.

Thistle apologized to friend’s children in court, saying he got himself into this predicament.

“I want to say that it’s shameful and embarrassing to stand before you. I wish that things have been different. I wish you all deserve. I wish you still had your father,” said Thistle.

“This is a pretty significant sentence. Mr. Thistle will need to do at least two years in Maine Department of Corrections. And we’re hopeful that this will send a message to other professionals throughout the state that they need to manage their money carefully not take what’s not theirs,” said Charlie Boyle, assistant attorney general.

In addition to his prison sentence, Thistle was also ordered to serve three years of probation and pay nearly $300,000 in restitution.