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Former judge pleads guilty to two counts of theft

Last Modified: Friday, January 11, 2013 10:30 PM

By Johnathan Manning / American Press

A former state court judge pleaded guilty to two counts of theft Friday morning in 14th Judicial District Court.

Greg Lyons, 62, 732 Iberville, faced 13 counts, but pleaded guilty to two counts of theft over $500 and was sentenced to five years’ probation and ordered to pay $192,000 in restitution.

Lyons must also attend gambling treatment.

Representatives of the Attorney General’s Office said victims agreed to the plea deal because it was the only hope of restitution.

The first count represented theft from five victims. Lyons accepted money to represent them, but did no work, according to prosecutors.

On the second count, Lyons had $153,000 in insurance money in a trust account for a client he was representing in a divorce. Lyons “took the money for himself,” prosecutors said.

Lyons has five years to repay the money, although both Judge Clayton Davis and prosecutors said they wanted to see good-faith efforts to repay the money. Davis said the next six months would be a guideline.

“I expect effort immediately,” he told Lyons. “Not timidly and not tardily. I need to see, the public needs to see and the victims need to see your heart poured into restitution.”

Lyons is holding employment.

“We took the victims’ wishes into strong considerations,” said Jeff Traylor, prosecutor for the Attorney General’s Office. “They are out a great deal of money. We figured it was a fair outcome to try to make them whole again.”

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