Thursday, February 11, 2010

Memphis Lawyer Steals from Children's Trust Funds to Gamble His Career Away

James Hoots, (pic) a Memphis, Tennessee bad lawyer who specializes in Probate matters was stealing from a children's trust fund so he could feed his gambling addiction according to the Memphis Commerical Appeal.  This is from the CA newsite 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. 


  1. this is evil, this man needs life in prison, these kids dont have a chance...give him the max , and throw away the key.

  2. Anon at 6:15--evil, I don't know about that, I see a lot of evil in a lot of dark places on the internet, this actually seems like pretty pedestrian stupidity. Without a doubt, the short term harm to these kids is sickening, here's hoping that Tenn. has a client security fund as most state's do, to reimburse their losses. But, Anon, I share your outrage--or, I would not have posted the story.


  3. I hate what Mr. Hoots did. I was shocked I used him as my lawyer and he did a wonderful job. Now more than anything he needs to ask God for forgivness. It is not our place to judge.

  4. Overall this is nothing new as about 85% of the Legal Firms and their Attorneys in Memphis are crooks and self serving as they just steal from clients thru fees. They work both sides as well as some are stupid. About the only way to get disbarred in Tn. is to steal from a trust fund or be convicted of a Felony. The Bar is Policed by themselfs (Attorneys). Check the number of bar complaints in the last 10 yr.s vs debarments. Wonder why no Tort Reform in the Health Care Bill?

  5. Those children aren't the only ones he stole from. Try his own family.

  6. He stole from dozens of people and it is in the millions. Heartless greed with no concern for others.

  7. Gambling addiction is a sickness like all other addictions and it too will cause you to lose everything, even your life.
    His choices were made because of his sickness so this is a lose/lose situation all around.
    Nothing like jail time to cure you from your addiction. I hope for him that the day will come when he has served his time, repaid his debt, been healed from his addiction, has his family's forgiveness and returned to his God.