South Carolina’s highest court on Wednesday disbarred a former state legislator currently serving a three-year sentence for a money-laundering charge.
The state Supreme Court agreed to set former State Rep. Thad Viers’ disbarment back to 2012, when the Myrtle Beach Republican’s law license was first suspended for an unrelated harassment charge. At the time, Viers had just resigned from the South Carolina House of Representatives to face accusations by his ex-girlfriend that he had stalked her and broken into her apartment. He was given 60 days in prison, to be served on weekends.
However, Viers was then charged by federal prosecutors with 13 other counts related to his handling of a contractor’s financial battle with an insurance company. Prosecutors accused Viers of helping his client hide money from the insurance company after the contractor defaulted on a $6 million highway paving contract. Viers eventually pleaded guilty to engaging in a monetary transaction in property derived from unlawful activity.
A federal judge sentenced him to 37 months in prison, which Viers began serving in October. Upon release, he will have to serve three more years supervised release and ensure the repayment of $875,000 to Safeco Insurance Company.
He will be able to reapply for his license once he completes his sentence. The state Supreme Court would have to approve the application.
Viers served in the House from 2002 until his 2012 resignation and had been a Republican candidate for Congress at the time of his resignation.