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Norcross lawyer disbarred for failing to return money to client

Photo by Jason Braverman

Photo by Jason Braverman

A Norcross lawyer was disbarred by the Georgia Supreme Court this week for failing to return money he collected on a client's behalf.

According to the decision released by the court, Anthony O'Dell Lakes represented his client during their sale of ownership in a restaurant, during which a buyer purchased the business for $224,000.

When the buyer defaulted, Lakes reportedly began collecting the unpaid sum, delivering all but $22,000 of the balance by the fall of 2008.

After leaving his law firm in January 2009, Lakes failed to communicate with his clients and "collected $16,000 from the buyer ... (and) commingled the clients' funds with his own and converted the funds to his own use."

Lakes reportedly promised the victims' new attorney that he would return their file, but never did, the court said.