Aiken attorney faces federal charges

Aiken – An Aiken attorney faces federal charges in a mail fraud and embezzlement scheme worth millions of dollars.

John Harte, 63, plead guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and money laundering on Sept. 18, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney W. Walter Wilkins Office. He has not yet been sentenced.

Two other attorneys, John O’Connor, 63, and Michael Shavo, 38, both of Columbia, were arraigned Tuesday on 17 charges including conspiring to launder money, mail fraud and misleading federal investigators. Mr. O’Connor could face up to 280 years in prison and a $4 million fine. Mr. Shavo could face 270 years in prison and a $3.75 million fine.

The indictment alleges that the men helped their client, William Trier of Aiken, embezzle millions of dollars from his employer by hiding the stolen money, and transferring it to several shell businesses.

The men must surrender their passports and limit their travel to South Carolina while awaiting trial.

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