Real estate attorney Jimmie Ray Lawson II of Axton, Va., is in a big heap of trouble, the Roanoke Times reported.

Lawson, 33, who has been practicing law since 1998, is being sued by Richmond, Va.-based Lawyers Title Insurance Corp.; he has been charged with felony embezzlement and contempt of court; and former heavyweight boxing champion Riddick Bowe successfully sued him in January, the Times reported.

Lawyers Title Insurance Corp. is claiming that Lawson used nearly $1.5 million of his clients’ money to invest in a nightclub in Nashville, Tenn., a real estate venture, and matching Humvees for himself and his wife, the Times said.

Lawson was on Lawson Title’s “approved attorneys” list and purchased insurance for his clients from the company, according to media reports.

According to court records, Lawson was Bowe’s business partner in July 2003, getting paid to invest money and negotiate fight deals, the Times said. Later that year, Bowe reportedly hired Lawson as an attorney.

The next month, the former boxer wired nearly $625,000 to Lawson to close a deal on a house in Fairfax County, Va., Bowe’s attorney, Mark Sandground, reportedly told the Times.

Instead, Lawson used the money for personal investments, never closing the real estate deal, and causing Bowe to lose the $1.2 million house, media reports said.

***

Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to janis@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 140.

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