COLUMBUS Ga. (WRBL) – A disbarred Columbus attorney has entered a guilty plea in a federal fraud case. George W. Snipes, age 68, pleaded guilty to the charge of federal mail fraud on June 23, 2021 in the of court U.S. District Judge Clay Land.
According to officials with the United States Attorney’s Office Middle District of Georgia, investigation into Snipes revealed the former Columbus-based attorney stole a settlement fee from two clients in a personal injury case.
“Lawyers are bound by a sworn oath to act with utmost integrity for the good of their clients and the legal profession itself. Snipes not only violated his oath, he acted in a criminal manner by diverting funds intended for his injured clients for his own personal use,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary.
The charges against Snipes stem from a personal injury case he was involved in back in September 2017. Snipes’ clients in the case has been involved in an auto accident in August 2017, and retained Snipes services in a personal injury case.
According to officials, Snipes settled the case without his clients’ knowledge or authorization in the amount of $48,000. He had the payment sent to himself rather than his clients. He then used the settlement money for personal use, according officials.
Snipes is scheduled to be sentenced on October 19, 2021. Along with a $250,000 fine, Snipes faces up to 20 years in federal prison.