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PRESS RELEASE: Atlanta Attorney Thomas Dickson Admits Stealing More Than $300,000 from Law Firm Clients

U.S. Attorney’s Office
August 14, 2013

Northern District of Georgia
(404) 581-6000

Atlanta Attorney Admits Stealing More Than $300,000 from Law Firm Clients

ATLANTA—Thomas Dickson has pleaded guilty to defrauding more than 50 clients out of funds that were deposited into his law firm’s trust account.

“As a lawyer, Dickson had a duty to act with his clients’ best interests in mind,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “Instead, he used his position at the law firm to steal from clients he was supposed to protect.”

Mark F. Giuliano, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated, “The defendant in this matter displayed a reckless disregard for his firm’s many clients by diverting monies due them to his personal account. The FBI will continue to investigate such cases of criminal misconduct and bring them forward for prosecution.”

According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges, and other information presented in court: In December 2008, while employed with a large Atlanta law firm, Dickson was retained by tenants in common (TIC) owners of commercial real estate purchased through DBSI Inc. DBSI Inc., an Idaho-based company, sold TIC investments or fractional ownership interests in commercial real estate to investors across the country. In November 2008, DBSI filed bankruptcy and many of the investors lost their life savings. In December 2008, several TIC property owners retained Dickson to represent their interests in the bankruptcy action. In 2009, Dickson encouraged TIC owners to transfer rents and other income into his law firm’s trust account.

Between February 24, 2010 and January 6, 2012, Dickson directed his law firm’s accounting department to unlawfully transfer over $300,000 from the law firm’s trust account to a business checking account in Plano, Texas. Dickson led the firm’s accounting department to believe that the funds were being transferred on behalf of TIC clients to pay third party expenses. Instead the money was transferred into a personal checking account controlled by Dickson and his wife.

In January 2012, the law firm initiated an internal investigation and Dickson, 52, of Atlanta, Georgia, was terminated. In March 2013, Dickson was disbarred by the Georgia State Bar.

The charge of wire fraud in this case carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Sentencing is scheduled for October 30, 2013, at 10:00 a.m. before United States District Judge Willis B. Hunt.

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey Brown is prosecuting the case.

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

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About FREDERICA CADE

Most of the information you will see comes from some Federal/state Government documents or Federal/State Governm Agency. -----------------------------------------------The fellow that can only see a week ahead is always the popular fellow, for he is looking with the crowd. But the one that can see years ahead, he has a telescope but he can't make anybody believe that he has it. ~~~~Will Rogers __The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before.~ Albert Einstein ~"I never work better than when I am inspired by anger; for when I am angry, I can write, pray, and preach well, for then my whole temperament is quickened, my understandingsharpen​ed, and all mundane vexations and temptations depart.” ~Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. _________________________________________________________________________________________ ~"The bosom of America is open to receive not only the Opulent and respectable Stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations and Religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment".~___________________________________ George Washington, Address to the Members of the Volunteer Association of Ireland, December 2, 1783 Fredericacade@gmail.com

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