COLUMBIA -- A lawyer suspended last month by the South Carolina Supreme Court now faces two lawsuits that he took more than $500,000 from his clients.

The suspension order signed against Richard J. Breibart gave no indication why he was suspended from practicing law indefinitely.

But lawsuits obtained by The State newspaper accuse Breibart of taking more than $500,000 from his clients and spending the money in unauthorized ways.

The newspaper couldn’t reach Breibart for comment, and a friend says he has suffered health problems and has been in and out of the hospital.

Breibart is a Lexington lawyer who has handled a number of high profile civil and criminal cases in his long career in South Carolina.