Con man Frank Kindlon is heading back to prison after bilking $200,000 from a woman who thought she was paying for legal fees for a mutual acquaintance in what turned out to be a fictitious court case.
Judge Thomas Breslin sentenced the 69-year-old Delmar man to serve seven to 15 years in state prison in Albany County Court Tuesday. Kindlon pleaded guilty to one felony count of grand larceny in July.
Kindlon, the cousin of high-profile defense attorney Terence Kindlon, took the money from the woman claiming that he was administering a legal matter involving a mutual acquaintance. Cash was paid to Frank Kindlon for what the victim — who knew him personally — believed to be various surcharges, taxes, security and courier fees in the bogus case.
Prosecutors said Kindlon convinced the victim that she needed to comply with the law and was required to provide these cash payments under a judge’s order. He was able to continue the scheme from April 2009 until March 2011.
Eventually, the victim reached out to law enforcement for assistance. State police conducted an investigation that involved recording meetings between Kindlon and the victim, which subsequently led to his arrest.
“Through his deception and lies, [Frank] Kindlon took from his victim not only money but also a sense of trust,” Albany County District Attorney David Soares said in a news release. “Those in our community who commit these types of crimes can expect to be prosecuted swiftly and severely.”
Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Cheryl Fowler handled the prosecution of this case.
Kindlon’s latest scam was similar to one that landed him eight years in state prison on a grand larceny conviction in 1993. In that case, he swindled six acquaintances out of roughly $1 million between 1987 and 1990 by claiming he needed the money to win a fictitious lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service for taxes he overpaid.
One of Kindlon’s victims — James Tabone of Albany — paid him more than $400,000 over two years in the hope the con man would win the case and pay him back, The Daily Gazette reported at the time. Faced with insurmountable debt, Tabone later committed suicide by lighting himself on fire in his locked garage, his wife Joan testified at trial in April 1993.
Kindlon later appealed his conviction on the grounds that he was a pathological gambler. The conviction was ultimately upheld by the state Supreme Court’s Appellate Division.