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Lawyer Pleads Guilty, Gets Jail Time in Embezzlements

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A disbarred Charlotte lawyer has been sentenced to at least a year and a half in prison after pleading guilty to embezzling more than $180,000 from financial institutions and clients.

Jesse Ray Dillard Jr. pleaded guilty Friday and was sentenced to the prison term, four years probation and 500 hours of community service.

Dillard was offered two deals to plead guilty before the trial. The best deal called for him to spend 16 months in prison, so Dillard chose to put his fate in the hands of a jury.

Before being led from the courtroom, Dillard apologized for his crimes.

"I do want to apologize to the court, to all my clients and to the citizens of this community," he said. "It was not with any malicious intent. I want to apologize for any embarrassment or hurt I've caused."

Dillard pleaded guilty to embezzling $102,818 from Charter One Mortgage Corp. and $77,857 from Central Carolina Bank and Trust Co. in real estate deals. He also pleaded guilty to embezzling a total of $237 from three clients who had given him money for traffic cases

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