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:
MERRITT1

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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Roderick L. Wyatt, 61, of Stone Mountain, has been charged with accepting bribe payments in exchange for approving the enrollment of almost 20 students to a local college, through a federal workforce program in DeKalb County. The federal indictment alleges that Wyatt agreed to accept payments from the college president for each student sent to the college through WorkSource DeKalb, a federally funded program.

“Wyatt allegedly sold his supervisory position with WorkSource DeKalb for cash. In doing so, he allegedly accepted a “bounty” for each student sent to a specific college,” said U. S. Attorney John A. Horn.

“An important mission of the Office of Inspector General is to investigate allegations of fraud relating to Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act grants issued by the U.S. Department of Labor. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate these types of allegations,” said Rafiq Ahmad, Special Agent in Charge, Atlanta Region, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General.

Public corruption is the FBI’s top criminal investigative priority because it takes a significant toll on the public’s pocketbooks by siphoning off tax dollars,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge David J. LeValley. “This case is another example of our commitment to combat corruption by investigating public officials who choose to abuse federally funded programs.”

According to United States Attorney Horn, the charges, and other information presented in court: the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act is a federal public law designed to improve and modernize America’s workforce development system by providing dislocated and low-income individuals with the skills and education needed to obtain employment and by providing employers with trained and qualified workers to fill employment vacancies.

WorkSource DeKalb (formerly DeKalb Workforce Development) was a DeKalb County department funded exclusively by the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. WorkSource DeKalb (“WSD”) served the unemployed and underemployed citizens of DeKalb County by providing work readiness programs, services, and activities necessary to obtain sustainable wages. Using federal funds, WSD paid the cost for unemployed and underemployed individuals to attend pre-screened schools or programs where the individuals gained the technical or vocational skills needed to obtain employment in fields such as nursing, truck driving, or welding. After reviewing the unemployed individuals’ career aspirations and educational interests, WSD staff members recommended the individuals to particular pre-screened schools or programs.

From 2013 to April 2017, Wyatt served as a WSD Employment and Training Supervisor. As a supervisor, Wyatt reviewed and approved the school/program recommendations made by WSD staff members.

In 2014, the president and founder of a pre-screened school that offered its students nursing assistant and medical technician certifications approached Wyatt and offered to pay him for each individual that WSD referred to the College. In 2014 and 2015, Wyatt approved the enrollment of approximately 19 students to the College. The College’s president paid Wyatt $100 for each student approved to attend his school. In total, the College received approximately $82,000 in federal funds under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. The name of the college has not been identified in the Information or any of the court pleadings.

This case is being investigated by the Department of Labor – Office of the Inspector General and Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey W. Davis and Special Assistant United States Attorney Tyler Man prosecuting the case.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016.

 

 

 

 

Lithonia state rep aims to create commission to decide placement and value of historic monuments

Confederate monuments not limited to the Old South

A statue depicting confederate general and former Georgia Gov. John Brown Gordon on horseback is shown outside the Georgia statehouse Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Atlanta. Most of the 11 Southern states that seceded prior to and during the Civil War have rebel monuments on or near the grounds of their state Capitol buildings. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

John Bazemore

State Representative Vernon Jones (D-Lithonia) today announced that he will introduce legislation that would create a state commission on historic monuments during the 2018 legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly.

“The recent events in Charlottesville, Va., have spurred on calls for the removal of historical monuments and artifacts that honor a dark era in Georgia’s history,” said Jones. “While I have my personal beliefs on the matter, I propose that a bipartisan, systematic and transparent study be conducted in an effort to arrive at an inclusive solution.”

Should this legislation pass and be enacted, this commission would hold statewide hearings to discuss historic monuments and artifacts, and would make recommendations to the governor and the General Assembly regarding monument placement and the possibility of adding new monuments that hold historic value to the citizens of Georgia.

“Hysteria and knee jerk reactions are not the solution. Sensitive subjects such as this deserve calm, practical and open dialogue. A house divided cannot stand, and Georgians must show the nation that we can unite for the greater good,” added Jones.

Commission members would reflect and represent a broad spectrum of interest on the subject, and would include, but not be limited to, preservationists, historians and advocacy groups.

Jones represents the citizens of District 91, which includes portions of DeKalb and Rockdale counties.

  • Avatar

    Until Obama was elected, all this BS had settled down, and everyone was getting along. The educated and sensible people within this state, know the history, and everyone in those categories, are tolerant and understanding, unless and until outsiders come here, and want to change the history, heritage, and the residents.
    Stop the hate damnit, and get over yourselves.

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    Wow! I was taught that if you go around killing statues, or even harming them, that you go to jail. If that had been what happened to the idiots that knocked over the statues, the first time, we wouldn’t even be going there now. One day, people will get smart and enforce the damn laws

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    Why are we even discussing monuments that have been up a century? Here’s why: because intolerant, anti-diversity, hateful, bigots are leading an attack on them. There is room in this state for everyone’s monuments. To call on “the other guy’s” monument to be taken down is regressive.

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    Or, our bottom of the barrel education system taught the lie about them that these people weren’t traitors to our country. And now that we know that they were treasonous traitors, we’ve decided that we don’t want to honor them in our public spaces anymore.

    We now know that the Confederate States of America was a country. And that these men fought for the CSA against the USA. That’s the textbook definition of a traitor.

    So there’s that.

  • Avatar

    “Hysteria and knee jerk reactions are not the solution. Sensitive subjects such as this deserve calm, practical and open dialogue. A house divided cannot stand, and Georgians must show the nation that we can unite for the greater good,” added Jones.” Sounds like you just gave in to the hysteria? There was no dialogue before. Apparently we live in a world where everyone asks for tolerance unless your from the South.

  • Avatar

    Never fails. Every time some false national narrative kicks up some lowlife weasel politician pops up spouting demogogery.

    Leave history alone. Leave our Monuments alone. Or step down.

 

  • 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.

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