FERRIER FILES: 17 people accuse lawyer of stealing their money
NASHVILLE, Tenn. —
Their stories are all different.
Some claimed they were cheated out of overtime, fired unfairly, whistle blowers, charges of discrimination, or maybe just a relative died and they needed to settle the estate.
They went to Andy Allman for help, and instead found themselves in much worse positions.
“I think what bothers me is when you are going to get legal help you are already in a low spot,” said Marsha.
Marsha is Knoxville client who said her federal suit was bungled by Allman.
"For us to be so mistreated and misled when you are at the lowest point you can be," Marsha said.
In an astonishing 3-petition, 17-count complaint against Andy Allman, the Board of Professional Responsibility accused Allman of stealing from his clients. It claims he took their money and didn't do the work, and lied to clients about their cases.
The BPR is a group of lawyers who police lawyers. They suspended Andy Allman's license in September 2016 under claims of "dishonest or selfish motive," "pattern of misconduct," and "multiple offenses."
“We all feel like he should spend some time in jail,” said Greg, another client who wanted to be referred only by his first name.
In October of 2016, Nashville's District Attorney criminally charged Allman for stealing $230,000 in Nashville.
Baylor Bramble is a boy who suffered a traumatic brain injury from football. He graduated from MTSU last week. His grandfather died and left his home to his family to be divided by his two children.
The family claims they never got the money. Allman is charged with stealing the proceeds from the sale of the house.
“While this money gave them the opportunity to travel around the world, it cost my nephew the chance to go to Chicago for brain rehabilitation,” said Cathy Brown. "That is what the money was for, and Andy knew that when he took the money."
Where did the money go?
If you look at Facebook, you would see that Allman appeared to live a life of luxury with photos posted from Las Vegas, Lake Mead, South Florida.
"In November, he posted a picture 'life is good' while I am begging and pleading for him to give me my money,” Brown said.
In January, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation raided Allman's Hendersonville home. Any charges from that raid are still pending, meanwhile, Andy Allman filed for bankruptcy.
“I mean there were opportunities for thousands and millions of dollars that people counted on,” said Michelle Raymond another Allman client. "He let it go, sorry nothing we can do your statute of limitations ran out. It wasn't our fault. It was Andy's fault, and how do you press charges against that?"
Many wonder what took so long.
The board of professional responsibility started investigating him in December 2014 but didn't suspend his license until September 2016--21 months later.
“If they acted in a timely fashion, Andy shouldn't have been an attorney when I hired him,” said Cathy Brown. "He shouldn't have been an attorney. They don't really want to discuss it other than to say they are sorry. Sorry is not good enough."
Fox 17 asked the board for an interview to explain what took so long. They declined the interview, but Chief Counsel Sandy Garrett said at first it seemed like a case about fee disputes, and Allman was answering questions..”
There was a lot of back and forth. Garrett said it took time for the truth to come out, and she is sorry people are upset
“He didn’t rob us with a gun, he robbed us with a law license," said another frustrated Allman client. "He needs to go to prison."
Allman has hired well-known defense lawyer David Raybin.
He released this statement tonight on Allman's behalf:
“Mr. Allman appreciates the opportunity to respond. He denies the allegations of professional impropriety. The allegations, legal complaints, and previous statements in the news and social media are simply not true and can be refuted by matters of public record or a review of clients’ entire files. He cannot respond in any further detail because they are before the Board of Professional Responsibility and those proceedings are initially confidential. Mr. Allman’s criminal case is pending, and I am not permitted to comment further on that except to say that Mr. Allman will persist in his plea of not guilty. Mr. Allman believes he has been subject to numerous false allegations and will address them in the appropriate forum and at the appropriate time.”