Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- A prominent Lexington attorney has been indicted after authorities say he extorted more than $1 million from clients by threatening them with criminal charges or civil penalties that did not exist.
The indictment Wednesday charges Richard Breibart with 10 counts including extortion, wire fraud and mail fraud.
Federal prosecutors say Breibart told clients they were either facing penalties from the IRS or possible criminal charges unless they removed as much money as they could get out of their bank accounts, investments and retirement accounts.
Authorities say Breibart put the money into his law firm's trust account and spent it on personal and business expenses.
Breibart's law license was suspended in June. He did not return a phone message Thursday. It could not be determined if he had an attorney.
(Copyright 2012, The Associated Press)