story: James M. Hoots has been charged with stealing some $76,000 from a children's trust fund and blowing it at the Tunica casinos.
Hoots . . . has been licensed in Tennessee since 1990. The 56-year-old attorney was booked into the Shelby County Jail on Friday and is scheduled to be in General Sessions Criminal Court on Monday. He was to be released on his own recognizance. Authorities received a complaint several months ago that Hoots had taken money from the children's trust fund without permission.
The administrator of the estate, Lana Scott, told detectives that when she confronted Hoots about the missing money, he told her he had a gambling problem and had lost it. 'I took the children's money and took it to Tunica to try to make more money,' Scott said Hoots told her in November. She said that on Nov. 18, Hoots gave her a promissory note, pledging to pay the children $76,206.10. The additional $206.10 was for interest normally earned on probate accounts, according to an affidavit. He is charged with theft of property over $60,000, which carries a standard sentence of eight to 12 years in prison.
Casino investment strategies tend not to "make more money" as Mr. Hoots claims to have believed.