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Attorney Grant King Sentenced to 10 Years for Stealing Settlement Money
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James Grant King

Summary: James Grant King will spend 10 years behind bars for stealing money from client settlement funds.

A Kentucky attorney was sentenced to 10 years in prison for stealing the settlement money from clients. James “Grant” King pleaded guilty to the charges in August of this year.

  
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King was sentenced by a judge to 116 months, or nearly 10 years, behind bars. Once he is released from prison, he will have three years of supervised release. He will receive drug and alcohol treatment while in prison and must pay back over $1 million in restitution.

He was charged with two counts of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft in April, which are federal charges. He allegedly stole tens of thousands of dollars from clients and defrauded multiple clients of their insurance settlements.

King was admitted to practice law in Kentucky on October 23, 2000. In 2013, he was charged by the Kentucky State Bar Association of two violations. They found he violated the rule stating: “A lawyer shall hold property of clients or third persons that is in a lawyer’s possession in connection with a representation separate from the lawyer’s own property.”

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According to court documents, King had his license suspended but was able to get a partially probated suspension for misconduct in 2013. King represented Mary Ann and Noble Faulkner in 2009 when they were in a car accident. By April 2010, King settled her claim for $4,500. He put the settlement in his escrow account until he received verification from Medicaid if they were asserting a lien or not. Medicaid directed in June that they were not asserting a lien so King gave Mary Ann her portion of the settlement – $2,925. Between the time King received the settlement and distributed them to Mary Ann, he no longer had enough money in the account to pay her portion.

For Noble’s part of the claim, King received a settlement of $25,000 in July 2010. King once again put the funds into his escrow account. He held onto the money until he knew if Medicaid was asserting a lien. In August, Medicaid indicated they would be asserting a lien. King started sending $1,000 checks to Noble in November. He sent another check in December and January. By January, Medicaid was no longer placing a lien so King informed Noble. King failed to maintain the balance in the account so he was unable to pay the full amount to Noble. Instead, King was using the money in the escrow account to pay his bills, including payments to Parenting & Family Magazine, MetLife Home Mortgage, Anthem Health Insurance, Nissan, the Kentucky Unemployment Insurance Fund, and more.



The court documents show that King received discipline in August 2012 for drunk driving and endangering a minor. King has a number of DUI charges in his past. He has been arrested a total of four times for drunk driving. He complied with the conditions of his discipline and filed for the probated suspension in May 2014.

Do you think attorneys should even be allowed to deposit funds from a settlement into their own account? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about attorneys that keep the money from client settlement’s, read these articles:

Photo: wpsdlocal6.com



 

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