MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A former Memphis attorney has pled guilty in a scheme to defraud an estate that she was initially appointed to serve, according to the Department of Justice.

Leigh M. Chiles, 49, has pled guilty to a single count of wire fraud. A federal jury returned an indictment in July 2022, and evidence was heard in court on March 17, 2023.

In September 2018, Chiles was appointed as the executrix of an estate opened in the Shelby County Probate Court. Her duties at the time were collecting estate assets and then distributing them to the heirs and beneficiaries.

The Department of Justice said that in violation of her fiduciary duty, Chiles used about $124,000 in estate funds to write checks to herself as well as to pay her personal credit between November 2018 and June 2019.

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A sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 17, 2023. Chiles faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years of supervised release.