Ex-chief Legal Officer of Law Firm LeClairRyan Gets 44 Months in Prison

The Justice Department said yesterday that Bruce Matson, the former chief legal officer at now-defunct law firm LeClairRyan, has been sentenced to 44 months in prison after pleading guilty in July to obstructing a federal probe. U.S. District Judge John Gibney of the Eastern District of Virginia in Richmond also ordered Matson to pay a $10,000 fine, according to the DOJ. Matson was accused of lying to a DOJ watchdog that was probing his alleged misappropriation of funds from title insurer LandAmerica Financial Group’s bankruptcy.

Prosecutors had requested 46 months in prison and a $250,000 fine, while Matson’s attorneys requested a 37-month sentence. LandAmerica, one of the largest title insurance groups in the U.S., filed for bankruptcy in the Eastern District of Virginia in 2008. Matson, was assigned the role of liquidation trustee for the company’s remaining assets while at LeClairRyan. He was found to have embezzled approximately $800,000 from the trust between 2015 and 2018, and misappropriated a total of $4 million, according to court papers. According to prosecutors, in 2019 Matson lied to the U.S. Trustee probing the depleted trust funds, telling them he moved the funds because of high bank fees and tax identification issues. Matson agreed to disbarment in November 2020.

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