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Attorney sentenced to 5 years for stealing

COLUMBIA (AP) — A high-profile South Carolina attorney will serve more than five years in prison for stealing more than $2 million from his clients.

Judge Margaret Seymour sentenced Richard Breibart to 63 months in prison Wednesday for mail fraud, which was the maximum recommended jail term under federal guidelines.

He also was ordered to pay back $2.4 million to his clients. Prosecutors say Breibart told them that they were facing penalties or criminal charges unless they put hundreds of thousands of dollars into his law firm’s trust account. He used that money for business and personal expenses.

Breibart’s attorneys asked he only be sentenced to the 18 months he has spent in jail awaiting trial because he is sick and destitute.

Breibart admitted he was wrong and asked the judge for leniency.

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