Attorney sentenced to prison for theft

EATON, Ohio (WDTN) – A Preble County attorney was sentenced Tuesday for stealing from his clients.

James Thomas Jr., 38, of Brookville, was ordered to serve 54 months in prison and pay restitution totaling $208,320 to four former clients. The judge granted Thomas a one day credit for time already spent in jail.

Thomas was found guilty of stealing from the elderly and disabled clients while he was the guardian of their estates between 2007 and 2013.

The case was prosecuted by Attorney General DeWine’s Special Prosecutions Section, and investigators with the Preble County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the investigation.

In an effort to increase the investigation and prosecution of elder abuse cases in Ohio, Attorney General DeWine announced in May the formation of a new Elder Justice Initiative within the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. Through the Elder Justice Initiative, the Attorney General’s Office will work with local officials and advocates to identify, investigate, and prosecute elder abuse cases and increase services to victims.

Reports of the possible abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation of an elderly Ohioan can be made to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office by calling 800-282-0515.

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