Former Clarksville attorney sentenced

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A former Clarksville attorney who was accused of stealing more than $180,000 from clients has been sentenced to 10 years after pleading guilty to theft and fraud charges.

According to court records, Van Lewis Riggins Jr. will serve nine months in the Montgomery County Workhouse and the remainder on state probation.

Riggins briefly disappeared in 2006 after the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility sent him a letter asking him to explain what happened to money he was given by a client to settle debt in a bankruptcy case.

His law license was later suspended by the state Supreme Court after it determined he had appropriated clients' funds for his own use and abandoned his law practice.

According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the charges stem from crimes committed between 2004 and 2006.

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(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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