Family: attorney stole $367,000 from elderly mother - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Family: attorney stole $367,000 from elderly mother

GOODLETTSVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A Middle Tennessee woman is suing the disbarred attorney, whom she believes stole $367,000 from her elderly mother's bank accounts.

Teresa Lyle is still grieving the death of her mother, Nannie Malone, who died in a nursing home in October.

Now the family is even more upset, after seeing canceled checks that indicate Malone's court-appointed conservator, John E. Clemmons, wrote some 60 unauthorized checks from Malone's account to himself.

That, all while Clemmons was telling the family that Malone was out of money, and could not pay for the cancer drugs she needed.

"The medicine wouldn't have cured her, I'm not that naive. But it would have helped to keep it at bay," said Teresa Lyle, Malone's daughter.

"He said she didn't have any money," Lyle said.

Bank records from Malone's account show that Clemmons wrote checks to himself beginning in 2008, just two days after he was appointed by Judge Randy Kennedy to be Malone's conservator.

Clemmons was obligated to turn in annual accounting statements to the Probate Master's office. That office is charged with looking over the accounting sheets, and checking them for accuracy.

The Malone family wonders why no one questioned Clemmons' checks to himself.

Probate Master Bob Bradshaw admits the oversight is embarrassing.

"I hate that happened," Bradshaw said.

"Apparently, it just didn't catch my attention when it came through," he said.

Malone's family hired attorney Michael Hoskins to sue Clemmons.

Hoskins called this a catastrophic failure of the Probate Court system.

"Had the clerk looked at the bank statements, it would have been clear he was stealing money, right from the very beginning," Hoskins said.

Clemmons was filing hand-written ledgers with Probate Court, which are purported to be an accounting of what happened to Malone's million-dollar estate.

The hand-written ledgers don't list the checks Clemmons wrote to himself.

Hoskins says had the Probate Master compared the ledgers to the actual bank statements, the fraud could have been stopped in 2008.

"This could have been caught when he filed his first accounting, which would have saved the Malone estate more than $250,000," Hoskins said.

Malone's daughters are suing Clemmons; but they also blame the system that let this happen.

"We never knew where a penny of that money went. We weren't allowed to," Lyle said.

"The reports that he turned in, even I, who have no business sense at all, I could have caught it myself," she said.

The allegations against Clemmons have been turned over to the Davidson County District Attorney's office. Clemmons is already being prosecuted in Rutherford County in a similar conservatorship case.

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

  • East Texas NewsMore>>

  • Lufkin's Community Food Drive built on woman's legacy

    Lufkin's Community Food Drive built on woman's legacy

    Saturday, November 18 2017 9:28 PM EST2017-11-19 02:28:07 GMT
    Source: KTRE StaffSource: KTRE Staff
    The Community Food Drive in Lufkin is special to some because of the large amount of people it brings together from all walks of life.  "It's just like so many different people, very diverse," said volunteer, Priscilla Gonzalez. "It's just kind of cool to see all these people coming together to do one thing." For others, like Keith Kennedy, it's all about the service being provided to the greater community. "They're in miracle territory,...More >>
    The Community Food Drive in Lufkin is special to some because of the large amount of people it brings together from all walks of life.  "It's just like so many different people, very diverse," said volunteer, Priscilla Gonzalez. "It's just kind of cool to see all these people coming together to do one thing." For others, like Keith Kennedy, it's all about the service being provided to the greater community. "They're in miracle territory,...More >>
  • East Texas seasonal hires may have helped lower statewide unemployment rate

    East Texas seasonal hires may have helped lower statewide unemployment rate

    Friday, November 17 2017 7:26 PM EST2017-11-18 00:26:00 GMT

    According to the Texas Workforce Commission, unemployment rate has fallen to a 3.9 percent since  In East Texas some holiday job openings have helped that percentage grow.  During March Target finished a 3.5 million dollar remodel that brought in new product lines. “We've actually added new positions and we've been able to accommodate additional hires because our business has escalated since then,” said store team leader, Kris Hoephner. This addition to the Ta...

    More >>

    According to the Texas Workforce Commission, unemployment rate has fallen to a 3.9 percent since  In East Texas some holiday job openings have helped that percentage grow.  During March Target finished a 3.5 million dollar remodel that brought in new product lines. “We've actually added new positions and we've been able to accommodate additional hires because our business has escalated since then,” said store team leader, Kris Hoephner. This addition to the Ta...

    More >>
  • Lufkin STEM program plant trees at local schools

    Lufkin STEM program plant trees at local schools

    Friday, November 17 2017 7:25 PM EST2017-11-18 00:25:00 GMT
    Source: KTRESource: KTRE

    The 7th grade, STEM program from Lufkin joined up with some of the senior STEM students and spent their Friday, morning, planting trees at Burley Primary and Slack Elementary Schools. 

    More >>

    The 7th grade, STEM program from Lufkin joined up with some of the senior STEM students and spent their Friday, morning, planting trees at Burley Primary and Slack Elementary Schools. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly