Gammage was arrested in November 2011 and charged with one count of theft by taking, six counts of theft by conversion and six counts of forgery in the first degree. He was disbarred in January 2012.
The GBI, which initiated the investigation, partnered with the FBI, according to GBI spokesman John Bankhead. The case was then prosecuted in federal court.
Gammage will be sentenced before U.S. District Judge Robert Vinings in May. He faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of as much as $250,000.
According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office:
Gammage, 59, converted more than $2.5 million of his client’s settlement funds to his own use from about January 2008 to January 2012.
Gammage specialized in workers’ compensation cases, representing people who were seriously injured at work.
He used funds to pay his own expenses and his law firm’s payroll and operating expenses. Claims were settled on behalf of clients without their authorization and he failed to notify clients that he had received their settlement checks.
Gammage deposited the checks into bank accounts he controlled and commingled client funds with his own funds.
When asked by clients why they had not received their money, Gammage blamed the delay on others. He also delayed disbursing any portion of the settlement funds to clients as long as possible.
Gammage is also facing a civil suit in Polk County Superior Court by one of his former clients.
On Tuesday a Cobb County Superior Court judge ruled against Gammage in a compliance hearing.
Barbara McEntire filed a civil suit against Gammage and his firm last year, alleging he took her lawsuit settlement of $77,500 won in a workman’s compensation case for either his own use or use in his law firm.
Gammage has 30 days to appeal the ruling. The court is moving forward to schedule a March trial date for determining damages in the case.