Nashville Trust Fraud—Attorney Garton Charged

 From:  United States Department of Justice

Tennessee Attorney Charged With Stealing $1.3 Million

From Trust of Fatherless Child

Indicted: Tennessee Attorney stole from trust of fatherless child.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. ––Jackie Lynn Garton, 54, of Dickson, Tennessee, was charged yesterday with wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and tax fraud related to a years-long scheme during which he stole over $1.3 million from his clients and law partners, announced U.S. Attorney Don Cochran for the Middle District of Tennessee.

A criminal information filed earlier this week charged Garton, an attorney who specialized in probate law, with stealing over $1.3 million through a scheme that began in 2009 and continued until 2017, while Garton was a practicing attorney in Dickson, Tennessee.  Of the total funds stolen, Garton, under the auspices of acting as a trustee, removed over $1.1 million from the trust of a minor whose father, a Tennessee State Trooper, was killed in the line of duty.

According to the charging document, Garton carried out the scheme by withdrawing funds from clients’ accounts without their permission and depositing the stolen funds into his personal bank accounts. Garton used the identification of at least one victim to carry out his scheme of defrauding his clients. Garton used the stolen funds for his own personal use and concealed portions of his income from his law partners and the IRS, intending to defraud the IRS of over $350,000.

If convicted, Garton faces up to 20 years in prison on the wire fraud charge, up to three years on the tax fraud charge and an additional mandatory two-year sentence on the aggravated identity theft charge.  Additionally, he faces a $250,000 fine on each count and will be required to pay restitution to the victims of his crimes.

This case was investigated by the FBI and the IRS-Criminal Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sara Beth Myers and Kathryn Booth.

The charges are merely an accusation.  The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.