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Attorney who pilfered accounts gets 18 months in prison

Former Franklin lawyer J. Edward Moyler Jr. today was sentenced to one and a half years in prison for stealing more than $4 million from his client accounts. Most of the money came from the estate of a well-known Franklin woman.

Although Moyler is under order to pay back the missing money, prospects for restitution are not good.

“I don’t want to seem pessimistic, but there doesn’t appear to be much chance of recovering the money unless his financial circumstances change,” said Southampton County Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Cooke.

Moyler, 79, regularly withdrew money from his client accounts to support his ailing hotel business, according to earlier testimony. He pleaded guilty to six counts of embezzlement in state court and one count of bankruptcy fraud in federal court. He faces sentencing on the federal charge in May.

The Tidewater News reports Moyler is scheduled for surgery in March. He has been allowed until April 20 to report to prison.

By Peter Vieth

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