Three years after a $100,000 personal injury settlement hit a North Miami Beach attorney’s trust account, her client had received, at most, under $10,000. Other people and entities, including a church, had received $50,400.
That’s part of why Adres Jackson-Whyte has been disbarred. Destroying records that had been subpoenaed also counts as a major no-no, but that happened during an investigation of the “misappropriated” funds.
“At some point she had to know that she was making disbursements to people for whom she had not deposited funds,” Florida 11th Circuit Court Judge Michelle Alvarez Barakat wrote in her referee’s report. “In fact, her own testimony as to the two significant disbursements to the church reflects that she was aware of this. Certainly, if those funds were not deposited, [Jackson-Whyte] had to realize she was giving Leroy Moore’s money to someone else.”
Leroy Moore was Jackson-Whyte’s client and a member of the same church as the attorney. Jackson-Whyte testified to the referee that a car smashed into Moore as he sat on a bus bench.
Jackson-Whyte received the settlement check, as is common, in August 2018. She’d been a member of the Florida Bar for nine years.
What she did next started a five-year clock ticking on her Bar membership.
Moves made with Moore’s money
What follows is from testimony given by the Florida Bar and Jackson-Whyte before Barakat.
A Florida Bar auditor found Jackson-Whyte opened a trust account at Bank of America on Aug. 17, 2018 and deposited Moore’s $100,000 settlement check on Aug. 21, 2018 from Progressive Insurance. For the next 14 months, the Bar auditor testified and bank trust accounts showed, no other money went into the account.
Money left the account, however,