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Charleston lawyer who fled to Nicaragua pleads guilty to fraud charge

Bill Lester, 69, has plead guilty on a felony charge of attempting to commit fraudulent schemes...
Bill Lester, 69, has plead guilty on a felony charge of attempting to commit fraudulent schemes Friday morning.(WSAZ)
Published: Feb. 19, 2021 at 12:36 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - A Charleston lawyer who missed his initial trial date and fled to Nicaragua has plead guilty to fraud charges.

Bill Lester, 69, has plead guilty on a felony charge of attempting to commit fraudulent schemes Friday morning.

Lester was indicted in 2016. According to the indictment, Lester allegedly falsely reported providing services to indigent clients on several dates from 2010 to 2014.

On another count in the indictment, Lester allegedly overcharged Creed Capital, LLC for his work as a criminal lawyer for indigent clients.

Lester was found and arrested in Nicaragua in January 2020.

“I attempted to willfully deprive Creed Capital money by means of fraudulent pretenses, thereby committing grand larceny. I did this by causing vouchers to be submitted with time entries that were inflated and not correct,” Lester stated in his guilty plea.

Kanawha County Circuit Court Judge Duke Bloom has ordered Lester’s law license be annulled and that he pay restitutions for court costs, jail costs, money taken in the alleged fraudulent schemes, and extradition costs from Nicaragua. “The State will be reimbursed,” Bloom stated.

Judge Bloom said the maximum sentence is 1-3 years in prison and a fine of up to 500 dollars.

Lester’s disposition is set for March 12 at 11:30 a.m.

To see our previous coverage of this story, click here.

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