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Ex-attorney sentenced to 40 years for stealing clients' money

CANTON — A former Ridgeland attorney who admitted to swindling hundreds of thousands of dollars from his former clients has been sentenced to serve 20 years in prison.

District Attorney Michael Guest says former Ridgeland attorney Vann Leonard received a 40-year sentence today for embezzling more than $500,000 from several clients that he represented in 2008 and 2009. Twenty years of the sentence was suspended.

Leonard has pleaded guilty to misleading two of his former clients between June 2008 and December 2011. Leonard told his clients he’d hold their money in his trust account for legal fees, when he actually spent the funds for his own personal use.

Leonard also was given five years supervised probation and ordered to pay restitution.

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