White-Collar Crime

Lawyer accused of stealing $400K pleads guilty

  • Print

A Georgia lawyer has taken a plea after stealing more than $400,000 from clients, authorities say.

Donald Carlton Gibson pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud in federal court in Brunswick, and admitted keeping for his own purposes $80,000 in funds a client had given him to settle a lawsuit, the Florida Times-Union reports.

Gibson used $55,000 of that amount to cover funds missing in other matters, a FBI special agent told U.S. District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood. Agent Jeffrey Roberts said in testimony that Gibson altered the check so that it was payable to his law firm operating account. .

Asked by Wood how much money, in total, had been taken through fraud, Roberts said the amount exceeded $400,000, the article reports.

Among those present at the hearing was a woman who said her elderly mother, who was also present to hear the plea, had suffered a loss due to funds taken by Gibson from an estate.

“I wish we could get the money back. I’m glad I got to see it,’’ Jennifer Highsmith told the newspaper, referring to Gibson’s plea.

“He didn’t look remorseful,” she said.

Related coverage:

Florida Times-Union: “Brunswick lawyer charged with forgery, theft in deposit of $80,000 settlement check in firm’s account”

Florida Times-Union: “Brunswick lawyer charged in theft of $80,000 settlement declines bond reduction hearing”

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.