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Local Attorney Pleads Guilty To Schemes To Defraud Clients

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January 6, 2012

Jackson, Miss - Vann F. Leonard, 46, of Ridgeland, MS, pled guilty today to a Criminal
Information filed by the United States Attorney charging him with mail fraud and wire fraud in
connection with schemes to defraud former clients, U.S. Attorney John Dowdy and FBI Special
Agent in Charge Daniel McMullen announced.

Leonard admitted that from approximately June 2008 through December, 2011,
he intentionally misled two of his former clients to believe that he safely held their money in his
trust account for use solely in the disposition of their legal matters, when he actually spent their
money for his own personal use. Leonard received approximately $362,342.00 in varying
increments from one client who believed his funds were being securely held in escrow to cover
legal expenses. A second client made wire transfers to Leonard on two different occasions
totaling $4,000, believing that Leonard was settling some legal matters.

Leonard is currently detained in the Madison County Jail awaiting sentencing on March
23, 2012 at 9:00 a.m. He faces a maximum sentence of 60 years in prison and a $750,000 fine.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being
prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Carla J. Clark.

Updated January 7, 2015

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