Ridgeland attorney gets prison time for defrauding clients | Crime
A Ridgeland attorney was sentenced to serve more than three years in prison after pleading guilty to federal charges of mail fraud and wire fraud.
Vann F. Leonard, 46, defrauded his clients out of nearly half a million dollars, according to U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis.
Leonard will serve 41 months in federal prison and three years of supervised release concurrently with a previous sentence for bankruptcy fraud from 2011.
Leonard devised a scheme to defraud his clients by using money meant for legal representation for personal use, according to Davis.
Leonard admitted that in June 2008 he mailed a receipt to one of his clients “falsely informing the client that he was holding the client’s money in his trust account for use in civil litigation, but in fact, Leonard spent the money for his personal benefit.”
Leonard also admitted that in March, 2011, he requested an out of state client to wire money on at least two occasions for legal representation in criminal matters, but instead he spent the money for his personal benefit.
Leonard has also been indicted on state criminal charges in Madison County and Rankin County for similar offenses.
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