A former member of the South Carolina General Assembly has finally been sentenced after signing a plea agreement several months ago. Thad Viers will serve over three years in prison and must pay restitution in the amount of $875,000 for his involvement in federal crimes. His sentencing marks the end of criminal proceedings that began with his indictment in August 2014.
Viers involvement in what would become a federal case began when the owner of a construction company chose the attorney to represent his interests in a civil suit. According to federal officials, Viers’ client paid him $500,000 as a retainer for his services, and Viers used that money to invest in another business on his client’s behalf. According to federal officials, this was done in an attempt to launder money for the client.
After the federal investigation had concluded, Viers found himself indicted on 14 separate charges, including money laundering, fraud, lying to a federal agent and conspiracy to commit fraud. By agreeing to the plea deal, Viers was able to see 13 of the charges against him dropped. Also, the plea agreement allowed Viers to avoid the maximum penalties for the money laundering charge, which could have resulted in him serving up to 10 years in prison.
When South Carolina residents find themselves facing charges for federal crimes, the consequences, should they be convicted, can be severe. In order to fully understand the charges they face and the legal options they have, many choose to retain the services of experienced criminal defense attorneys. With the help of a legal professional, a plea agreement, such as the one Viers signed, may become an option.
Source: wmbfnews.com, “Former Representative Viers begins 3-year prison sentence on money laundering charge,” Lisa Gresci, Oct. 23, 2015