McCracken Co., KY attorney charged with stealing settlement money from clients

MCCRACKEN COUNTY, KY (KFVS) - A McCracken County, Kentucky attorney is facing theft charges after allegedly not paying settlement fees to his clients.

James "Grant" King was arrested on two counts of theft stemming from an investigation that began in February 2017.

The investigation showed that in February of 2016, King was hired to represent a couple who had been involved in an accident.

King was to supposed to negotiate a settlement agreement with Nationwide Insurance. Within six weeks of being hired, King had settled both claims, collecting a combined $93,000. King did not consult his clients to seek their approval on the amounts being settled for; they only found out after they began investigating themselves.

After being told by Nationwide Insurance that the case had been settled, the clients confronted King.

King said the paperwork must have been misplaced and the money was still sitting in escrow. The clients then filed a criminal complaint with the McCracken County Sheriff's Department.

Detectives were able to view King's escrow account statements. The statements showed King deposited all of the money in March and April of 2016, and by the end of April all of the money had been removed from the account.

Transaction records showed approximately half of the money went to King himself, with the rest being written for payroll, personal expenses and what is believed to be other clients that he may have owed money to.

Detectives were unable to locate any records where the clients in this case received any money or where any medical bills associated from the accident had been paid.

On April 28, after reading a police press release, a second client and victim of J. Grant King Law reported an almost identical experience.

The victim was involved in an accident on April 7, 2015 and hired Grant King to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. After not hearing anything for over a year, the victim checked with the insurance company on September 28, 2016 and was told the case had been settled on May 4, 2016 for $17,500.

The victim stated that he hadn't received any payment to date from Grant King.

Detectives were able to confirm through bank records that Grant King had deposited a check of $17,500 made out to King Law and the victim for a personal injury settlement on May 6, 2016.

Also bank records showed the victim didn't receive any form of payment from Grant King before the money was exhausted from the escrow account. As with the original investigation, most of the money was removed by Grant King or spent on personal expenses.

Grant King was charged with another count of theft by failure to make required disposition of property $10,000 or more.

The investigation remains ongoing and officials say additional charges are likely.

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