RICHARD MERRITT: BARCOMPLAINT.COM REPORTS FORMER SMYRNA ATTORNEY ARRESTED ON FELONY ELDER ABUSE, THEFT, EXPLOITATION AND CHECK FRAUD CHARGES — 3/05/2018 and update

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RICHARD MERRITT: BARCOMPLAINT.COM REPORTS FORMER SMYRNA ATTORNEY ARRESTED ON FELONY ELDER ABUSE, THEFT, EXPLOITATION AND CHECK FRAUD CHARGES — 3/05/2018

https://mugshots.com/Current-Events/RICHARD-MERRITT.165346606.html

Cobb County, GA – Former Smyrna attorney Richard V. Merritt, who was disbarred Monday after admitting to settling a client’s suit for $75,000 and then pocketing the money, woke up in the Cobb County Jail Thursday after being arrested on separate felony elder abuse, theft, exploitation and check fraud charges.

The spokesperson for the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office said he had no further information on the charges, which were apparently filed by the Smyrna Police Department. The booking report includes a notation that Merritt is to be held for the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, where a press liaison said they received a bench warrant for “indirect criminal attempt.”

He provided no further information, and there was no immediate response from Smyrna police.

On Friday, Cobb County District Attorney Vic Reynolds said there was little he could offer concerning Merritt’s case so far.

“We have yet to receive the complete investigative file from the Cobb Sheriff’s Department,” said Reynolds via email. “When we do, our White Collar Unit will begin the process of determining what charges we will proceed to the grand jury with. In addition, our Investigators will begin reviewing the file upon receipt to see if there are any additional victims or charges which need to be pursued.”

Merritt remained in jail on Friday afternoon.

Merritt is the subject of multiple civil suits in Cobb County, including one filed by a woman who claims he forged her name on a $150,000 settlement agreement and check without her knowledge. She claims Merritt never turned over any funds.

He also faces several legal malpractice and fraud lawsuits in Cobb County from clients claiming he agreed to handle their cases and then never filed them and never pursued any actions.

Merritt has represented himself in each of the lawsuits.

The attorney for a plaintiff in one case, Sapp & Moriarty partner Daniel Moriarty—interviewed before word of Merritt’s arrest was known—said he was surprised at the mild tone in the state Supreme Court’s disbarment opinion, which only said Merritt “settled a client’s personal injury matter for $75,000 but failed to promptly disburse those funds to his client or her medical providers and failed to render a full accounting of the funds to his client.”

“That’s a euphemism for stealing money,” said Moriarty. “I talked to an investigator who has seen his bank records and determined that he had stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars. It just blows my mind what he’s gotten away with.”

According the bar complaint reviewed by the Daily Report, Merritt was retained to handle a personal injury matter in December 2016 and settled it last February, cashing the forged check Feb.7. On Feb. 10, he filed a lawsuit “and continued to lead me on until late May 2017 when I learned what he had done,” the confidential complaint said.

“I have never seen a dime of the $75,000,” said Merritt’s former client.

Another civil suit filed in Cobb County State Court last year said Merritt forged a husband and wife’s signature on a settlement and check in a medical malpractice case and never told them.

Another complaint said Merritt accepted a med-mal case and continually told his client that he was investigating it. Merritt sent emails saying “All is well and we are moving forward on your case,” and “No worries I’m on it!”

Then he stopped accepting the woman’s calls, and the filing deadline passed.

In that case, Judge Maria Golick struck Merritt’s answers and ordered a damages-only trial after finding he “willfully failed to respond” to hearing notices. Golick scheduled a show-cause criminal contempt hearing, and the decision is apparently still under advisement, according to court records.

In the case Moriarty is handling, Merritt also allegedly claimed to be conducting discovery and searching for experts, even scheduling bogus depositions for his clients, only to cancel them at the last minute.

Merritt was the principal for the Smyrna-based Merritt Firm, whose offices were the subject of several dispossessory actions between 2015 and 2017, according to court records.

Last August, Merritt sued two attorneys on behalf of spine surgeon and frequent medical expert James Chappuis. At the time, Merritt said he vice president and general counsel of Chappuis’ Orthopaedic & Spine Surgery of Atlanta.

That case settled confidentially shortly after it was filed.

UPDATE:
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February 3, 2019 by nootkabear
Dekalb PD seek help in locating suspect in the alleged murder of his mother

One of my people was represented by this guy, and he stole $45,000.00 of her settlement. She and some other victims testified in Court a couple weeks ago. He was sentenced to 30 years, with 15 to serve. He was supposed to turn himself in 02/01/2019. He did not show up.

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02/02/2019 Sharon Swanepoel Top News
http://news.monroelocal.org/dekalb-pd-seek-help-in-locating-suspect-in-the-alleged-murder-of-his-mother/

Tucker, Ga. – Dekalb County Police Department is asking for the public’s help in locating a suspect in the alleged murder of his mother. According to DCPD, at 9:30 a.m. this morning, Feb. 2, 2019, police responded to a home on Planters Row in Stone Mountain in reference to a dead person call. The victim, Shirley Merritt, was found stabbed to death inside her residence. Police believe this is an isolated domestic-related incident.
Richard Merritt, 44. Photo courtesy of Dekalb County Police Department

The victim’s son, Richard Merritt, 44, has been identified as the suspect. He is described as a white male, 5’10”, 175 lbs, brown eyes and brown hair. There is an active murder warrant for his arrest. He is possibly in possession of the victim’s 2009 Lexus RX350, Brown Color, GA Tag CBV6004.

DeKalb Police are asking anyone with information on the whereabouts of Richard Merritt to please contact the DeKalb County Police Department at 770-724-7850 or Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS(8477).
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DeKalb County, Georgia Officer Charged With Theft By Taking


Police investigation leads to officer arrest in DeKalb
http://www.mdjonline.com/neighbor_newspapers/dekalb/police-investigation-leads-to-officer-arrest-in-dekalb/article_1e05a8ac-0350-11e7-92e7-b38b00159025.html
Neighbor Staff 1 hr ago

A DeKalb County police officer has been charged with theft by taking, tampering with evidence and violation of oath of office.

Officer Ajamia Guyton resigned immediately during the investigation that led to the charges.

“It’s very upsetting to me when an officer crosses that line, but what I do take great pride in is that our own officers recognized the wrongdoing, initiated the investigation and made the arrest of someone undeserving to wear the badge,” Chief James Conroy said.

The charges resulted from a call of forced entry to an apartment at 2795 Evans Mill Road in Lithonia on March 4. Officers arrived on the scene and found suspected narcotics, firearms and currency in view. Three suspects were detained and Guyton was assigned to secure the location until the search warrant was obtained. When detectives returned with the search warrant they observed items in the residence had been moved.
Neighbor News Online Updates

Detectives immediately initiated an investigation that led to the arrest of Guyton and the recovery of $231 taken from the scene.

Guyton began working with the department in December 2015 and was assigned to the Uniform Division.

Guyton was incarcerated in the DeKalb County Jail on the stated charges.

Stop the Hate and Get Over It!

Police: 9 arrested at ‘pro-white’ protest in Georgia

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2016/04/23/police-arrested-pro-white-rally-georgia/83435094/?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzRss&utm_campaign=usatoday-newstopstories

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STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. — Nine people were arrested Saturday after a counter-protest at a “pro-white” rally turned physical, police said.

A group called Rock Stone Mountain scheduled what the called a “pro-white” rally at Stone Mountain park outside of Atlanta to “protest efforts to erase the white race.” According to the group’s Facebook page, the rally was expected to draw just under 500 people, but early on, only about 25 to 30 people had gathered.

All Out Atlanta, an anti-racism group, organized a counter-protest for the same time and location. Both groups had permits from the park and were sanctioned to protest from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Police made provisions to keep the groups in separate sections of the park to ensure the rallies stayed peaceful, but efforts to do so quickly deteriorated.

According to John Bankhead, a spokesman with the Stone Mountain Park Police, nine All Out Atlanta protestors were arrested before noon Saturday.

Authorities say the protesters were asked to take off masks in compliance with a park ordinance. When the protesters refused to comply, they were arrested.

Bankhead said other All Out Atlanta threw rocks. Bankhead himself was struck with a rock, he said.

Authorities were continuing to keep the two rallies separate, but Bankhead said some of the All Out Atlanta protesters were trying to get through blocked areas leading to the Rock Stone Mountain rally.

On Saturday afternoon, park authorities said attractions would be closed for the remainder of the day, but the main park entrance and walking trail would remain open.


Amazing!  I live in Stone Mountain, and did not know anything about this before or after it happened.  Only in DeKalb County!

Stone Mountain Georgia Privacy Violations

100_2994My last post stated that there were no other cameras on the property, except the one viewing our property.

Now go back and look at the angle of the camera before, and the angle in the picture above.  Now, it is pointed directly at us.  Amazing, yes?

Guess what????

100_3002 After I stated that, the camera pointed more toward our property, and another camera was added to a tree, in yet another neighbor’s property. Another property where no one lives, makes one wonder if the owner of that property knows that his property is being used to spy on us.

Also, the owner went to the property after dark the other night, and had a really big ladder on the truck.  He took the ladder off, and I don’t know what tree he climbed, but I would imagine, that now, there is  a third camera spying on our every move.  I guess if someone, in an answer to a lawsuit, claims that you have been trespassing, they have to get evidence from somewhere, huh?

DeKalb County Commissioner Sentenced to Prison!

Ex-DeKalb Co. official Boyer sentenced to prison for embezzling county money
Mar 23, 2015, 5:30am EDT

Carla Caldwell
Morning Edition Editor-
Atlanta Business Chronicle
http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/morning_call/2015/03/ex-dekalb-co-official-boyer-sentenced-to-prison.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+bizj_national+%28Bizjournals+National+Feed%29&page=all

Former DeKalb County Commissioner Elaine Boyer is sentenced to serve one year and two months in prison followed by three years of supervised probation for embezzling county money and misusing her government credit card. Boyer must also pay restitution of $87,350.
On Sept. 3, 2014, Boyer, 58, of Stone Mountain, Ga., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to commit mail fraud and one count of wire fraud. On Feb, 20, 2015, Boyer’s husband, John Boyer, 62, of Stone Mountain, Ga., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to commit mail fraud. John Boyer is scheduled to be sentenced on May 6.
“Elaine Boyer helped herself to over $75,000 in taxpayer funds which were intended to benefit and improve DeKalb County,” said Acting U.S. Attorney John A. Horn following Boyer’s sentencing on Friday. “Instead, she used the money for things like her personal travel and for purchases at high-end department stores. The citizens of DeKalb County deserve to be represented by honest elected officials who put the interests of the public first.”
See Also

Ex-DeKalb Co. Commissioner Boyer’s husband pleads guilty to fraud
Ex-DeKalb Commissioner Boyer pleads guilty (VIDEO)
According to Horn, the charges, and other information presented in court:
In 1992, Elaine Boyer began serving as the Commissioner of District 1, which served citizens in north DeKalb County, including in Brookhaven, Dunwoody, Tucker, and Smoke Rise, Georgia. Among other responsibilities, Ms. Boyer sat on the BOC’s Finance, Budget, and Audit Committee and was the Chairwoman of the Employee Relations and Community Services Committee. Although Boyer’s term of office did not expire until 2016, she resigned on Aug. 25, 2014, the day before she was charged in this case.
In September 2009, as the Commissioner of District 1, Ms. Boyer retained an individual (“Advisor”) supposedly to assist her with government consulting and advisory duties on issues that affected her constituents. From September 2009 to November 2011, false invoices were submitted to Ms. Boyer’s office for consulting services purportedly rendered by the Advisor.
In fact, the Advisor performed no services for Ms. Boyer, District 1 constituents, or DeKalb County. Ms. Boyer used the false invoices as a basis to authorize payments to the Advisor. Based on requisition requests from Ms. Boyer, DeKalb County issued approximately 35 checks to the Advisor for consulting services that were never performed. In total, DeKalb County paid the Advisor approximately $80,000, believing that legitimate services had been performed for the county.
After being paid by DeKalb County, the Advisor funneled approximately 75 percent of the money received from DeKalb County into Ms. Boyer’s personal bank account. Between September 2009 and November 2011, the Advisor deposited approximately $60,000 in DeKalb County funds into Ms. Boyer’s personal bank account (while retaining the remainder of the money). In turn, Ms. Boyer used the money deposited into her account to pay personal expenses, including purchases at hotels and high-end department stores.
Additionally, in her capacity as a Commissioner, DeKalb County issued Ms. Boyer a Visa Purchasing Card (“P-Card”) to make county-related purchases. On Jan. 14, 2010, she signed a Cardholder Users’ Agreement stating she would not use the P-Card to make personal purchases.
From October 2010 to February 2014, Ms. Boyer made more than 50 personal purchases on her P-Card, including purchasing airline tickets and hotel rooms for herself and her family for personal travel. In total, she made over $15,000 worth of purchases on her P-Card for personal goods and services.