A former judge in East Tennessee entered a guilty plea on felony theft charges Thursday in Nashville.
James F. Taylor admitted that he forged records to back up bills for legal work he didn't do.
Under the plea deal, Taylor will serve three years in prison and 10 years on probation.
He also has to repay the administrative office of the court nearly $33,000.
"It's extremely disappointing when an attorney betrays the trust of not only his clients, but also of the Court," said Davidson County District Attorney General Torry Johnson. "This kind of deceptive practice does not have a place in our judicial system, and it's important that this individual pays back the money due the AOC, to be able to serve indigent clients."
"This conviction sends a strong message that the theft of funds intended for those who cannot afford a lawyer will not be tolerated," Attorney General Bob Cooper said.
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