|Speight Trial Heads To Court In January |
|By TRACY SHARP |
A trial date has been set in the case of attorney H. Max Speight who is accused of stealing more than a million dollars from several Weakley County clients.
Speight was arrested on Nov. 27, 2006, and will appear in Weakley County Circuit Court on Jan. 28 of 2008.
Speight, a Weakley County native, had law offices in Dresden and Martin. His primary focus was real estate and business law.
He was charged with eight counts of theft and four counts of writing worthless checks.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation made the arrest after several complaints from local citizens allegedly revealed that Speight had transferred several accounts he was representing into his personal account.
Initially, Speight was charged with five counts of theft of property over $60,000. The affidavits of complaint date back to February to a wire transfer of $492,578.20 belonging to James and Joyce Tuck. The next charge dates back to March of 2006, and claims that Speight deposited a check written for $334,007 that was “intended” for Van Swaim and Larry Kelly from the proceeds of a sale of investment property which was supposed to be held in a 1031 Exchange.
Other charges include that Speight deposited $189,971.75 into his real estate escrow account from Ricky Stutts 1031 Exchange Account.
The TBI also filed charges which included an investment sale for Claude and Robbie Perkins, and two separate count involving Belinda Overman, Lin-da Adams, William S. Edwards and James Sadler, when Speight was handling their investment properties.
The indictments cite Speight “exercised control” of these monies in his capacity as the complainants’ attorney.
His law license was suspended in December of 2006 after he was accused and arrested on the charges of misappropriating funds.
The worthless checks collectively amount to $958,330.59 with the bulk of the total amount setting at nearly $1,136,000.
27th Judicial District Attorney General Tommy Thomas, Weakley County Circuit Court Judge William Acree and Weakley County General Sessions Judge Tommy Moore have recused themselves from the case.
Joseph Baugh, District Attorney General Pro Tempore, who is from Franklin, will try the case.