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Attorney sentenced; used account as ‘personal piggy bank’

ASHEVILLE (AP) A North Carolina attorney has been sentenced to two years behind bars for embezzling money in a scheme that the prosecutor says involved using his law firm’s trust account “as his personal piggy bank.”

U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray said in a news release that 44-year-old Howard Trade Elkins was sentenced June 14 for wire fraud.

Murray says that from 2012 to 2017, Elkins served as an attorney for the estates of people who had died. He said Elkins would use the money to gamble, to pay his debts and for other purposes.

Murray said Elkins used his law firm’s trust account “as his personal piggy bank.”

Elkins pleaded guilty to wire fraud in November. He must serve two years of supervised release after he finishes his prison term.

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