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Attorney disbarred for stealing $9 million

CINCINNATI – The Ohio Supreme Court has permanently disbarred a Cincinnati attorney convicted of diverting $9 million that a deceased client had meant to go to charities.

In a 6-0 decision announced Wednesday, the court found that former attorney Robert Leon Schwartz’s actions show he was dishonest and untrustworthy and shouldn’t be allowed to practice law.

The 72-year-old pleaded guilty to felony counts of mail fraud and filing a false income-tax return, and he was sentenced to four years in prison in 2010.

The government said Schwartz used much of the $13 million left behind by his client, Beverly Hersh, on himself and on homes for friends and family, instead of distributing it to charities as she had instructed.

At his sentencing, Schwartz apologized and said he had dishonored his profession.