Attorney pleads guilty to stealing from clients

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- A disbarred Memphis attorney has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $1 million from client trust accounts.

The Commercial Appeal reports 71-year-old David J. Johnson, who had been licenses as a real estate attorney since 1969, was disbarred last year. He was temporarily suspended in 2009 for misconduct.

Federal authorities say Johnson stole from client trust funds and used the money to make loans or to invest in personal business interests. In some cases, they say he stole money from one client to replace money he took from another.

Prosecutors say Johnson defrauded clients of an estimated $1.2 million, but that for sentencing purposes the amount involved ranges between $1 million and $2.5 million.

His plea agreement includes making restitution to those who suffered losses in the scheme.

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