Florence attorney sentenced in mail fraud scheme

William Rivers, III, has been sentenced to prison for stealing money from his clients.

Florence attorney William Rivers, III, has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for mail fraud after stealing $1.2 million from his clients.

The judge ordered him to pay $2.7 million in restitution.

The indictment against Rivers said between 2006 and 2012, Rivers and his late law partner John Schurlknight, settled clients' cases without telling them.

It says they forged clients' signatures and kept the money.

Rivers had asked for a three year sentence, saying he'd been model citizen all of his life.

He will report to prison in 90 days.

Rivera is suspended from practicing law.

He may now be disbarred.