Former chairman of UNC governing board pleads guilty of embezzlement

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HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. — A former chairman of the University of North Carolina’s governing board and two-time Democratic congressional candidate could spend up to 84 years in prison after pleading guilty to stealing more than $2.5 million from law clients.

The Times-News of Hendersonville reported disbarred attorney Sam Neill of Hendersonville pleaded guilty to five state charges of felony embezzlement Monday.

Sentencing on the state charges will wait until after Neill is sentenced for federal tax fraud. Neill pleaded guilty in April. Prosecutors say he understated his 2008 income by more than $850,000.

Neill was the Democratic nominee for Congress in 2000 and 2002, losing both times to then-incumbent Republican Carles Taylor. Neill also served 12 years on the UNC Board of Governors, including two years as chairman.

Credit: The Associated Press.