Lawyer accused of stealing estate money for wife's breast implants, child support gets interim suspension
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An Ohio lawyer has been placed on interim suspension after he was accused of stealing millions of dollars from a number of estates and trusts, including an estate that was intended to benefit the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
The Ohio Supreme Court suspended 36-year-old lawyer Brian Matthew Wiggins of Dayton, Ohio, in a May 4 order, report Law360 and the Dayton Daily News.
The disciplinary counsel’s request for a suspension and a memorandum in support of the request are here.
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.
Wiggins is facing six ethics investigations, including two connected to criminal charges against him in a March superseding indictment, according to the disciplinary counsel’s memorandum.
The indictment charged Wiggins with 55 counts that included identity fraud, theft, aggravated theft, grand theft, money laundering, tampering with records and cocaine possession, according to earlier coverage by the Xenia Daily Gazette and the Dayton Daily News.
Prosecutors said Wiggins allegedly stole at least $2.1 million from two estates, but the disciplinary counsel’s memorandum suggested that the amount could be higher.
A review indicates that Wiggins stole more than $92,000 from the estate of Emily Kossel and more than $2.5 million from the Ronald L. Lentz revocable living trust, the memorandum said.
The Lentz trust had two main beneficiaries: The St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Smile Train, a nonprofit charity that performs surgery for children with cleft lips.
A review of Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts records indicates that Wiggins’ wrongdoing could be more extensive, the disciplinary counsel’s memorandum said.
“Trying to determine the full extent of [Wiggins’] misconduct has been like trying to put together a large, complicated jigsaw puzzle,” the memorandum said. “Although [disciplinary counsel] has completed some of the puzzle, there are many, many missing pieces representing respondent’s continuing and not-yet-discovered misconduct.”