Bond reduction hearing backfires for attorney accused of extorti - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Bond reduction hearing backfires for attorney accused of extortion

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

A bond reduction hearing for accused Lexington attorney Richard Breibart backfired on Monday.

Breibart is facing federal charges of extortion, wire, and mail fraud. During a hearing, a judge discovered that Breibart may have more assets than he previously indicated.

Last week, Breibart's attorney said his client was broke. However, a judge said he appears to have 200-thousand dollars in equity in a home that he owns. He now has to post the full $100,000 bond to be released.

According to a federal indictment, Breibart is charged with four counts of mail fraud, five counts of extortion under the Hobbs Act, and wire transmission in furtherance of scheme.

Breibart, a 30-year legal veteran, is accused of defrauding clients, former clients and their family members out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Prosecutors say Breibart would lead his victims to believe they were under a criminal investigation and in danger of losing their assets. They say Breibart told them to put the money in his trust account for protection. Instead, prosecutors say Breibart used that money for himself.

Breibart's law license was suspended by the state Supreme Court several months ago. The court also ordered appointment of a trustee to protect Breibart's clients and prohibited him from accessing any of the office's accounts.

A judge will also review whether Breibart qualifies for a public defender.

Copyright 2012 WIS. All rights reserved.

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