Dayton Attorney Jailed for Estate Fraud and Theft

ESTATE ATTORNEY STOLE CLIENTS ASSETS

Beavercreek Ohio | May 2020 | Dayton Daily News

Brian Wiggins, the lawyer indicted on 55 criminal counts involving stealing about $2.1 million from a probate estate trust, could be sentenced to 70 years in prison if he’s convicted on all the charges detailed in the indictment against him, Greene County Chief trial counsel David Hayes said.

Wiggins, 36, is accused of buying houses, gambling at casinos and paying for a family member’s cosmetic surgery, said Hayes, chief trial counsel in the county prosecutor’s office.The investigation grew out of a report made to Beavercreek police, he said, and the bulk of the case involves theft and transfers from the estate. There are specific instances that indicate money laundering as well.

“It’s a remarkable amount of money that was stolen, alleged to have been stolen by Mr. Wiggins,” Hayes said.

The money Wiggins is accused of stealing was spent on several things, he said, including houses, a car, a boat, gambling at casinos in Las Vegas and in Ohio and jewelry.

Wiggins also is accused of using some of the money to pay his child support obligations and cosmetic surgery for a family member, Hayes said.

The estate’s owner died in 2018, the prosecutor said, and the estate — including the trust — was valued at more than $3 million.The beneficiaries of the trust include St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Smile Train, an international organization that provides oral surgery for cleft lip and cleft palate repair, the chief trial counsel said.

Hayes said the theft of $1.5 million or more and each count of money laundering are felonies. If Wiggins is found guilty on all of the charges alleged in the indictment, he could potentially be sentenced to 70 years in prison.

The indictment accuses Wiggins of identity fraud, aggravated theft over $1.5 million, money laundering, theft, tampering with records and possession of cocaine, according to online court records.

Wiggins remains detained at the Greene County Jail, according to jail records. We’ll continue to update this story as new details become available.

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Volunteers working to help people spot, stop and recover from fraud and corruption in probate, trusts, estates & guardianships.