Clients Say Lawyer Steered Them to a Ponzi

FORT WORTH (CN) – A Dallas-area attorney persuaded clients to invest $6.7 million into a Ponzi scheme, and took fees for doing it, the investors claim in court.
     Gregory G. Jones, of Southlake, and his law office were sued in Tarrant County Court on Tuesday by France/US Investment LLC, Codechem US LLC, K&K Energy LLC and Financiere Sittler US LLC.
     The plaintiffs claim they hired Jones in 2009 to represent them in possible purchase of ownership interests in mining and exploration companies owned by Spencer Edwards.
     “Jones represented to plaintiffs that he knew Spencer Edwards and was familiar with Spencer Edwards’ business ventures, and particularly with the mining and exploration business he was conducting in Wyoming,” complaint states.
     “He vouched for the companies into which the plaintiffs invested. He took the plaintiffs’ money and, without authorization from the plaintiffs, paid himself a fee from the money entrusted to him by his clients.”
     Edwards is not a party to the lawsuit.
     The plaintiffs say they lost all their money when the Edwards investments turned out to be a Ponzi scheme.
     Jones told them he has “expertise in this type of business transaction” and “would represent their interests,” but Jones failed to fully disclose “facts which were critical” to the clients’ investment decisions, the complaint states.
     Phone calls to Jones’ office for comment on the lawsuit were not answered Thursday.
     Jones is certified in civil trial law and personal injury trial by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, according to his website.
     The plaintiffs seek actual damages for breach of fiduciary duty, negligence and breach of contract.
     They are represented by Patricia LaRue with Benenati Law Firm in Bedford.

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