ST. PETERS, Mo. (KSDK) - There's a new chapter in the bizarre story of Jeff Witt, a St. Peters attorney missing for more than two months.
Witt disappeared in late October, abandoning his office and around 60 clients. Now, the attorney assigned to take over for Witt says the vanished lawyer may have been stealing his former clients' settlement checks.
"I've specifically been talking to five or six people and they're all in the $10,000 to $30,000 range. I wouldn't be surprised if there are more out there," Kenneth Carp said.
Carp says a client was told by Witt in September 2013 that her case had settled and a check was on the way. When Witt went missing the client did some digging and got bad news.
"In December 2012, Mr. Witt's office received the check, the check was cashed and she didn't get any of the money," Carp said.
Carp says before his disappearance Witt's personal life was a mess. He'd gone through a divorce and last October was arrested for driving under the influence.
His professional life wasn't much better. In October, Witt lost a major malpractice case. In November, the Missouri Supreme Court suspended his law practice. The order cited "professional misconduct" and posing "a substantial threat of irreparable harm to the public."
Carp believes Witt ran away from his problems.
"The interim suspension was something that was started far before he left. The malpractice claim started way before he left. And I believe that a certain number of people were really upset with him because he wasn't corresponding with them, which is what the suspension was all about. And I think the pressure got to him."
Carp says people who didn't receive their settlement checks may still have some legal recourse.
You can contact Kenneth Carp's office at (314) 721-0205 or online at http://kcarplaw.com/