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Joplin Attorney Accused of Forgery

The Chief Disciplinary Council has requested that the Missouri Supreme Court suspend the law license of a Joplin attorney following an investigation of misconduct.
JOPLIN, MO.--- The Chief Disciplinary Council has requested that the Missouri Supreme Court suspend the law license of a Joplin attorney following an investigation of misconduct. The Chief Disciplinary Council has been conducting an investigation into the conduct of Joplin Attorney Daniel Whitworth. The investigation included an audit and interviews with numerous parties involved in business dealings with him. 

"The problem was, the story we had from our attorney, who we thought would be supporting our best interest, just never added up and was never the same story twice," said Ryan Jackson, Joplin Businessman. 

The investigation into the conduct of Attorney Daniel Whitworth revealed there is probable cause to believe he forged check endorsements and court documents, and misappropriated funds. The Chief Disciplinary Council says there is substantial evidence claiming Whitworth was dishonest and deceitful to clients.

"The stories that Mr. Whitworth would give us were very inconsistent between what he would tell us, what he would tell later on to the Missouri Bar, what he would tell the other individuals involved. We had several different versions of what was told, and we asked him for the records to support his claims several times, and he kept on telling us that he was working on getting them from his bank," said Jackson. 

Local Businessman Ryan Jackson says their company had settled an out of state lawsuit and written a settlement check. The $60,000 check had cleared their account, but the funds were missing.

"It was very clear that the writing on the back of the check to the payee on the check was actually Dan Whitworth's writing, and underneath that was the same writing for his law firm trust account," said Jackson. 

Whitworth is accused of forging the document and depositing it into his own trust account. Other business owners and local residents gave their sworn testimony claiming they also had problems. 

"He was an attorney, in some capacity, he was a business partner with my family, he was a family friend. And it was really shocking to find all this out, and it puts you in a moment of disbelief but whenever you put it there in black and white, the evidence is what it is," said Jackson. 

Whitworth received his first disciplinary action, it was given by the court in 1995 and he has received several reprimands by the court thereafter. This afternoon, Whitworth's attorney, Sarah Rittman, told us they won't be making a comment until formal actions are taken against him.




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