Former lawyer pleads guilty to stealing $800K from estates

BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) – A disbarred Tennessee lawyer who stole nearly $800,000 from clients has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

The Bristol Herald Courier reports ( ) 71-year-old Don W. Cooper of Bristol was sentenced after pleading guilty to 10 counts of theft on Monday. Court documents say Cooper stole a total of $763,000 from four estates between 2006 and 2015.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation began investigating Cooper in November 2015. Cooper had practiced law for 40 years, primarily handling wills, estates and trusts before being suspended from practicing in December 2015. He was disbarred in February and ordered to pay nearly $1 million in restitution to multiple estates and trusts.