Georgia attorney defrauded worker’s comp clients www.privateofficer.com
Atlanta GA Jan 10 2013
A Georgia lawyer who represented injured workers admitted in federal court Tuesday to using more than $2.5 million of his clients’ money for personal use.
At his sentencing later this year in Atlanta, Miles Lamar Gammage of Cedartown in Polk County could face up to 20 years in prison.
The now-disbarred worker’s compensation lawyer admitted to defrauding more than 50 seriously injured clients out of their settlement funds, according to federal prosecutors.
Between 2008 and 2012, prosecutors said, the 59-year-old lawyer didn’t notify clients they had received settlements, forged their names on checks he then deposited into bank accounts he controlled and co-mingled clients’ funds with his own.
Gammage also settled claims without his clients’ authorization and made up excuses when clients demanded their money. On occasion, he would extend them “interest-free loans” or “advance” them funds, prosecutors said.
“By his own admission, instead of helping his clients receive the compensation that they were owed and that they needed for the treatment of their injuries, he used their settlement money for his own selfish purposes – and hurt people who were already hurting,” U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in a statement.
Gammage, who will be sentenced in May, pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud. In addition to the FBI, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation also was involved in the investigation.
Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution