Former Baton Rouge lawyer sentenced in fraud case
BATON ROUGE - James M. Bernhard III has been sentenced to 27 months in prison Thursday for wire fraud in connection with the theft of over $453,000 from his former law firm's trust account.
Bernhard, who pleaded guilty to the wire fraud charge, surrendered his law license shortly before he appeared for sentencing Thursday before Chief U.S. District Judge Brian A. Jackson in Baton Rouge federal court.
The Advocate reports Jackson also fined Bernhard $10,000.
The career of Bernhard, son of former Shaw Group Inc. Chairman Jim Bernhard, nosedived in March 2012. That's when Crawford Lewis PLLC fired him for allegedly misappropriating more than $1 million in state film tax credits that belonged to clients of the law firm.