A onetime law partner in a Freehold firm can expect to spend as many as 33 months in prison for skimming more than $885,000 from the outfit.

That is the sentence handed to Timothy Provost, 58, of Millstone, in exchange for his guilty plea to one count of mail fraud, according to information from the office of New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman. He's also ordered to serve three years' supervised release and pay restitution amounting to $887,134.

Provost admitted pocketing the money between April 2004 and January 2011, according to documents filed in the case, by drawing it from the firm's attorney trust and business accounts through checks he wrote to himself.

Prosecutors say he used the funds to pay bills and tend to personal expenses for himself and his family, including mortgage payments,school tuition and riding stable fees.

Provost said that he mailed some of the checks to personal creditors, and used the money to buy cashier's checks payable to them or to himself in order to mask the activity.

Authorities say that the theft left some clients with double mortgages, which insurance companies covered.