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4 of 14 attorneys convicted of overbilling Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Four of 14 attorneys who were paid by Iowa to represent low-income defendants have been convicted of overbilling the state following state audits that found excessive billings of nearly $500,000.

The Des Moines Register reports that the 10 other attorneys have repaid the government, but weren’t criminally charged.

Kurt Swaim is a former state representative and first assistant public defender for the state. He says most of the cases that weren’t prosecuted involved unintentional bookkeeping errors.

Auditors say the attorneys made excessive billings or mileage reimbursement claims during a nearly five-year period that ended in August 2013.

Swaim says attorneys so far have been ordered to or voluntarily agreed to repay more than $250,000. He says Iowa is seeking restitution of more than $100,000 in one case and repayment in multiple cases not involving criminal charges.

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