Attorney accused of stealing $2.1M from estate suspended from practicing law

Brian Matthew Wiggins  GREENE COUNTY JAIL
Brian Matthew Wiggins  GREENE COUNTY JAIL

Credit: GREENE COUNTY JAIL

Credit: GREENE COUNTY JAIL

An attorney accused of stealing $2.1 million from an estate benefiting St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and a nonprofit for kids has been suspended from practicing law.

The Ohio Supreme Court today ruled in favor of an April 6 request for the immediate interim suspension of Brian Matthew Wiggins.

>> RELATED: Prosecutor: Attorney stole $2.1M intended for charity and spent it on child support, cosmetic surgery

The 36-year-old Dayton man is facing 55 counts, including identity fraud, aggravated theft of $1.5 million or more, money laundering, grand theft, tampering with records and possession of cocaine charges, according to Greene County court records.

He is facing over 70 years in prison, if convicted on all counts.

Wiggins was indicted on the charges in March.

The majority of his charges stem from the estate and trust funds from Ronald Lentz, who died in August 2018.

Wiggins was the attorney of the estate and trustee of the trust, which were valued at more than $3 million.

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St. Jude’s and Smile Train, a nonprofit for children with cleft lips and palates, were the two main beneficiaries of the estate.

Wiggins spent the money on child support payments, cosmetic surgery for a family member, houses, a boat, a car, gambling in Las Vegas and in Ohio and jewelry, said David Hayes of the Greene County Prosecutor’s Office.

According to the motion for immediate interim suspension, Wiggins “poses a substantial threat of serious harm to the public.”

“Given respondent’s complete failure to cooperate in relator’s investigation, it is impossible to know how many other estates or trusts he may have access to as a licensed attorney,” read court documents. “Accordingly, relator submits that respondent should be immediately suspended from the practice of law pending the disposition of the disciplinary investigation and proceedings. A memorandum in support is attached.”

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Wiggins is being held on a $1 million bond at the Greene County Adult Detention Center.

His trial is scheduled to begin July 20.