Columbia lawyer pleads guilty to conspiracy charges

Columbia, SC - COLUMBIA, SC (AP) - A South Carolina tax attorney has pleaded guilty to conspiracy involving mail fraud and money laundering.

The State newspaper reported 63-year-old John Fitzgerald O'Connor, Jr., of Columbia pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday.

O'Conner faces up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines when he is sentenced later.

Prosecutors say William J. Trier II of Aiken had hired O'Conner after learning Trier was being investigated. Prosecutors say Trier was accused of embezzling millions of dollar from his employer, a vending machine company.

U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles says O'Conner admitted being involved in a conspiracy to liquidate and conceal money and property that had been stolen by Trier.

Trier pleaded guilty in 2008 and was sentenced to more than five years in prison.

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