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Sam Neill Sentenced

Updated: Thursday, April 25 2013, 02:56 PM EDT

Disbarred Henderson County attorney Sam Neil will spend three years in a federal prison for tax fraud and stealing nearly $3 million from his clients. Some of his victims are now wondering if they’ll ever see any of the money he stole paid back to them.


In 2011, Sam Neill signed papers in the Henderson County Courthouse admitting that he took money from people’s trust accounts for his own use. Court documents show he spent that money to buy property and other uses, leaving some people without their full inheritances or ignoring the directions of clients to make payments to their heirs.


The case heard in Asheville Federal Court was that Neill didn’t pay taxes on the money he embezzled, more than $1.5 million between 2008 and 2011. He owes the federal government more than a half million dollars, and he’s agreed to pay it back. He also agreed to pay back the victims of his theft.


The Henderson County Community Foundation President McCray Benson. Benson says the foundation lost a benefactor's gift to non-profit organizations because of Neill’s actions. That gift would have distributed more than $113,000 for charitable causes, and endowed a trust with $1,200,000 that would have provided $50,000 a year for the non-profits.


Neill is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday in Henderson County Superior Court on state embezzlement charges.

Sam Neill Sentenced


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