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Sentencing date set for Lexington lawyer

COLUMBIA  (AP) — Sentencing has been scheduled for a high-profile South Carolina attorney accused of extorting $1 million from his clients.

Court papers show Lexington lawyer Richard Breibart will be sentenced in Columbia on March 5.

Breibart pleaded guilty last year to a federal charge of mail fraud. He was arrested in 2012 on charges of extortion, mail fraud and wire fraud.

Prosecutors said Breibart told clients they were facing Internal Revenue Service penalties or possible criminal charges unless they put hundreds of thousands of dollars into his law firm’s trust account. Authorities say Breibart then took the money and used it to pay for unspecified personal and business expenses.

Breibart faces $250,000 in fines and up to 20 years in prison, but prosecutors have agreed to recommend a lower sentence.

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