Sunday, July 30, 2017

Client Victimized Out Of $1 Million Among Those To Receive $1.3 Million From Lawyer Who Admitted To Fleecing Them Of Money Held In Trust; Defendant Gets Five Years State Prison Time, Agrees To Sell Home, Office & Apply Proceeds Towards Restitution Payments To Ripoff Victims

In Jasper, Georgia, WAGA-TV Channel 5 reports:
  • A disgraced attorney in Pickens County admitted stealing more than one million dollars from his clients, blaming his crimes on "greed and stupidity."

    Authorities say Mark Miller's victims are simple country folks who trusted him with their financial future. Instead, he stole their money and vacationed at Disney World.

    "It's a slap in the face," pointed out Pickens County District Attorney Alison Sosebee. "There is no way that he would have been able to afford the lifestyle he lived without the money that he had taken from his clients."

    For years Mark Miller's law office was a familiar landmark in the heart of downtown Jasper. One of his clients was Katie Parker, whose family worked long, difficult hours managing a convenience store. When they died they left Katie with a trust fund of at least $1 million.

    But when she couldn't get Miller to explain how much was in the fund, she took him to court and filed a criminal complaint.

    That's when Miller's secret spending finally came to light.

    He lived in an $800,000 home, his Facebook page filled with pictures of him vacationing at Disney World and other places. Miller pled guilty to thirteen counts of theft by deception, theft by taking, theft by conversion and financial transaction card fraud. District Attorney Sosebee said Miller told the court he spent as much as $40,000 of clients' money just on those trips to Disney World, blaming "greed, stupidity and wanting to live a lavish lifestyle."

    Miller's clients were counting on those funds. Katie Parker lives in an aging ranch house with window AC units fighting a losing battle with the Georgia summers.

    "She's certainly not living in an 800-thousand dollar home and taking trips to Disney Land," Sosebee complained.

    As part of his guilty plea, Miller agreed to sell his expensive home and Main Street office and use most of the money to pay the $1.3 million dollars owed to his victims. Almost all of that restitution -- $1 million -- will go to Katie Parker.

    Miller was sentenced to 40 years, five to serve in state prison.