Disbarred lawyer arrested in Florida after at least 18 months on the lam
A disbarred Georgia lawyer accused of stealing client money was arrested last weekend in Florida after going missing for at least 18 months.
Douglas J. Mathis skipped a Georgia court appearance in December 2015 on a theft charge for allegedly transferring client money into his own account, the Florida Times-Union reports.
Six months later, the original charge of theft by deception was combined with eight other theft by conversion charges in a racketeering indictment, according to the article. He is accused of using his law office to embezzle clients’ money.
Mathis was apprehended last weekend when he was arrested on charges of burglary of an unoccupied dwelling and petty theft.
Mathis was disbarred in October 2015. after failing to respond to notices of an ethics investigation. The opinion (PDF) cites allegations that Mathis failed to advance client funds to the seller in a real-estate transaction and had converted client trust funds to his own use. The clients determined that Mathis had abandoned his law office, according to the opinion.
Mathis was jailed in November 2015, but was released after posting bail.