A Tulsa lawyer being investigated for embezzlement
Monday, February 14th 2005, 2:43 pm
By: News On 6
Several clients have filed complaints both with the bar association and with the Tulsa Police Department against Tulsa attorney Jeff Parker.
The News on 6 has learned Parker has resigned his law license, but some clients don't believe that's enough. They want their money back and for him to be held accountable.
News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright says when Tessa and Mark Amaro needed an attorney, they picked a man Mark went to school with and played golf with, someone they trusted, Jeff Parker. Parker has a full-page ad in the phone book. Tessa asked Parker to sue a company after she got an injury and had mounting medical bills. She says 10 months later, Parker told her he reached a settlement and he would pay her medical bills, take his cut and send her the rest.
She did receive one check, but says the next one bounced and the next one was written on a closed account. She knew there was trouble. "I called the police detective and she said she would make sure he never practiced law again and that was a concern because I learned he gave up his license. I didn't think he should be able to give that up, I thought it should be taken away. He broke his oath."
She says Parker's wife signed a letter promising to pay Tessa's medical bills in one month, that was December and her bills still aren't paid. "I have one medical lien and three others placed with collection agencies."
The Amaro's learned Parker was under investigation for embezzling money from several clients. They say his staff told them he was having personal problems that included a drug addiction. "I haven't been mad, I feel sorry, but my husband said there are so many people and we've been the lucky ones, some are out thousands of dollars and have serious injuries from car wrecks, I guess I should feel more sorry for them."
The News on 6 called four different numbers for Parker, but never got through for a comment. Tulsa's fraud unit is investigating between seven and nine cases on Parker, but no charges have been filed.
Clients whoâ€™ve lost money can apply to the bar association's Client Security Fund for re-imbursement, but that money won't be available until December.
Since Parker voluntarily gave up his license, he would be eligible to practice law again in five years, unless convicted of a felony.