Monday, June 29, 2020

Estate Misappropriations Alleged

Ohio Disciplinary Counsel has filed ethics charges in a matter for which the attorney has been interim suspended for related criminal allegations. 

The Dayton Daily News reported on the criminal charges

>> Dayton attorney accused of theft, evidence tampering in Greene County

He was charged on 55 counts, said David Hayes of the Greene County Prosecutor’s Office.

He is facing over 70 years in prison, if convicted on all counts.

“The bulk of the charges in the indictment allege fraudulent activity related to transfer of estate and/or trust funds from the estate of a man named Ronald Lentz,” Hayes said during a press conference Wednesday.

Lentz died in August 2018 Wiggins was the attorney of the estate as well as the trustee of the trust, which were valued at more than $3 million, Hayes said.

St. Jude’s and Smile Train, a nonprofit for children with cleft lips and palates, were the two main beneficiaries of the estate.

Wiggins spent the money on child support payments, cosmetic surgery for a family member, houses, a boat, a car, gambling in Las Vegas and in Ohio and jewelry, Hayes said.

He is scheduled to be arraigned at 1 p.m. Friday.

A visiting judge from Franklin County has been assigned to the case.

The indictment stemmed from a Beavercreek police investigation.

Anyone with information on any other potential victims of Wiggins are urged to call detective David Holley 937-427-5520.

Wiggins previously was indicted in November on grand theft and tampering with records charges, according to court documents.

The previous case was in connection to a $90,000 check in an estate issue in Greene County. He is scheduled to go to trial April 20.

The ABA Journal had details including the cosmetic surgery in its reporting of the interim suspension

Wiggins was accused of spending stolen money on his wife’s breast implants, child support, a house, a boat, a Mercedes, jewelry, ATM withdrawals at casinos, and two women who accompanied him to Las Vegas. At least one of the two women was an adult dancer.

A review indicates that Wiggins has a severe addiction to gambling, alcohol, cocaine or another illegal drug, the disciplinary counsel’s memorandum says.

(Mike Frisch)

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_profession/2020/06/the-dayton-daily-news-reported-an-attorney-is-accused-of-stealing-millions-from-an-estate-that-benefitedst-judes-childre.html

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