Call Today for a FREE Consultation
Ball, Bonholtzer & Evans
Se Habla Español 626-817-6453

Attorney Charged With Fraud To Appear Before Federal Judge

Wilson Smith, an attorney charged with fraud and aggravated identity theft, will appear Tuesday before a federal judge. The Georgia lawyer allegedly stole more than $1 million of his clients' settlement money.

Smith, 63, will be taken before U.S. Magistrate Judge G.R. Smith to be informed of the charges against him and is expected to enter a not guilty plea. The case is assigned to U.S. District Chief Judge Lisa Godbey Wood in Brunswick.

Smith was arrested Jan. 13 on three state felony charges - theft by conversion and two counts of forgery - and remains in custody at the Toombs County Detention Center without bond. He has not entered a plea to the state charges.

The three-count federal indictment returned Feb. 5 for mail and bank fraud and aggravated identify theft charges Smith’s schemes occurred from August 2013 through January in Toombs County.

As part of the scheme, Smith, a personal injury attorney, is accused of depositing forged settlement checks into his firm’s trust account, then withdrawing the sums for his own use.

Included in the schemes cited in the indictment was an Aug. 14, 2013, transaction to have “sent by commercial carrier a $500,000 settlement check for $500,000 from Medical Mutual (insurance company) payable to HM and DM.”

That transaction involved a settlement check from a medical malpractice case to Missouri couple Heather and Dewey Mallette.

Meanwhile Savannah attorney Bart Turner, who represents the Mallettes in a civil case against Smith, has told a Chatham County State Court judge that Smith’s attempts to delay discovery in their attempt to recover some $500,000 cannot be taken seriously.

“Mr. Smith cannot seriously think his own conduct can be used as a shield to the plaintiffs’ legitimate right to see the truth,” Turner argued in court documents filed last week opposing Smith’s effort to delay his case until his criminal charges are disposed of.

Turner contends that Smith’s continuing detention in the Toombs County jail do not prevent him from being deposed or meeting with his lawyers.

The Mallettes are suing Smith, his law partner, Robert L. Jenkins, and their firm for

legal malpractice and fraud over a $500,000 settlement in a medical malpractice case he won by deception and never informed them of.

Smith’s lawyers are attempting to halt discovery and the case itself because of Smith’s incarceration.

The case remains pending before Chatham County State Court Judge Hermann Coolidge.

Originally posted by Jan Skutch on

Legal Malpractice - Ball & Bonholtzer Trial Attorney - Los Angeles

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • America's Top 100 Attorneys
  • Rated By SuperLawyers Stephen C. Ball 11 Years In A Row 2005-2016
  • American Board Of Trial Advocates
  • The National Top 100 Trial Lawyers Trial Lawyers
  • America's Top 100 High Stakes Litigators | 2017 | Top 100
  • The National Trial Lawyers |  Top 40 Under 40
  • The National Trial Lawyers |  Top 40 Under 40
  • Best Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Pasadena
Email Us For A Response

Contact Us For The Help You Need

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy


Ball, Bonholtzer & Evans
300 North Lake Avenue Suite 1100
Pasadena, CA 91101

Phone: 626-817-6453
Fax: 626-793-3198
Pasadena Law Office Map