by: Rachel Stockman Updated:
Lavish vacations, jewelry, plane tickets; that is how Atlanta police say a local attorney spent money meant for his clients.
Richard Wesley Kelley is facing criminal charges for stealing from at least two of his clients. On Monday, his license to practice law was revoked by the State of Georgia.
“I go to bed thinking about him, I was up thinking about him, and how he made us trust him,” said Molly Veasey, an alleged victim.
Veasey owns a bar in Coweta County. She won about $225,000 playing the Georgia Lottery, and hired Kelley to help her with a land investment. Veasey said after she gave Kelley a $100,000 check to hold in an account for her, she never saw the money or him again.
“I was mad, real mad,” said Veasey. Instead, Veasey said Kelley spent the money with a woman he married in Las Vegas in just a week’s time.
“Her wedding band, the hotel room, the gambling; I mean, they lived high on the hog for that week,” said Veasey.
“The bank records show that Attorney Kelley ate in restaurants, paid personal bills, bought jewelry, bought airline tickets, and went to Las Vegas, Nevada,” according to an investigator with the Atlanta Police Department’s Major Fraud Unit. “Based on the information I have, it appears that Attorney Kelley converted Mrs. Veasey’s fund for his own personal use. He was arrested on charges of theft by conversion.”
Police believe there could be more victims. Last March, police arrested Kelley again. This time, they say he forged a signature on a settlement payment for the victim of a car accident. They say he stole the $50,000 and spent it on items like vacations to Florida and trips to Harrah’s Cherokee Casino in North Carolina.
Police say Kelley stole about $200,000 total from clients.
Kelley told Channel 2 Action News, on the advice of his attorney, he could not comment on the case.