Three months after the death of a legal secretary in an alleged murder-and-embezzlement scheme, $1.4 million hasnt been paid to settle clients affairs at the Macon firm where she worked.
Proceeds from four loan closings went missing shortly after the Oct. 5 suffocation slaying of Gail Spencer, office manager at Pinkston & Associates, said Thomas Rogers, an Athens attorney.
Rogers represents Dr. Michael Russell and his wife, who signed papers to sell their house Oct. 4.
Although Macon police recovered all but about $70,000 stolen from the firms trust account, the Vineville Avenue firm hasnt forwarded money to pay off the Russells mortgage, Rogers said.
It is unclear why the funds havent been sent. Attorney Calder Pinkston has not returned phone messages left by reporters.
A Thursday hearing has been set for a judge to consider a request for an injunction filed by Florida-based Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Co. against Pinkstons firm and BB&T.
Commonwealth wants a judge to freeze Pinkstons trust account, where money to cover real estate transactions is temporarily held.
The firm has acknowledged a shortfall in the trust account and acknowledges its inability and unwillingness to cover outstanding transactions, according to a motion filed last week in Bibb County Superior Court.
Commonwealth alleges in the motion that Pinkstons conduct gives rise to an immediate threat of loss and harm to the Plaintiff and the depositors of funds into the defendants escrow account.
Rogers, the Russells attorney, said Tuesday, My understanding is that the proceeds of the closing plus three other closings involving other individuals are still in his escrow account.
Although the Russells have moved to Athens, theyre continuing to pay the mortgage on the house they sold in the fall, Rogers said.
He said hes pursuing a bar complaint against Pinkston and may file a lawsuit on the Russells behalf.
Spencer, 58, Pinkstons office manager, was found dead in the early-morning hours of Oct. 6 at her home on Stinsonville Road.
Prosecutors have since said she was suffocated with a trash bag and that she had been held at gunpoint by a group of four people, including a co-worker at the firm.
That co-worker, Tracy Michelle Jones, 38, and three other suspects stand charged with murder, aggravated assault, burglary, false imprisonment and theft, according to a Dec. 18 indictment.
The theft charge involves money taken from the firm.
More than $1 million was siphoned from the firms accounts through multiple wire transfers and moved into the suspects accounts.
While Jones was the only suspect who worked at the Pinkston firm, the theft charges against the other three were levied because they were deemed parties to a crime.
To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398. To contact writer Joe Kovac Jr., call 744-4397.