Attorney accused of pilfering funds intended for daycare

By Jamel Major - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A Memphis attorney is accused of stealing money from Tennessee children. According to a recent indictment, attorney David Weed was supposed to safeguard cash for a state subsidized day care, but instead was lining his own pockets.

Weed, who was hired to recover stolen state money intended to benefit poor children, has been indicted in Memphis on charges that he pilfered funds.

"These are funds being dispensed through the state of Tennessee on behalf of taxpayers," District Attorney General Bill Gibbons said. "We contend that Mr. Weed misused those funds to some degree for his personal benefit."

It all stems from a scandal in 2004 involving John Madison and his wife, operators of Cherokee Child and Family Services.  They were convicted on a variety of charges including embezzlement, tax evasion, money laundering.

"We weren't the thieves the paper and press made us out to be," Madison said. "We were legitimate business people."

Madison and his wife have both served prison terms and have been released.

"As for as Mr. Weed, if he goes through what we went through, he has a rough road to go," Madison said.

An investigation revealed that huge sums of money intended to help children were instead used to buy fancy cars, expensive jewelry and vacations.  A judge appointed Weed to try to recover the money that had disappeared.

Weed was made overseer of the assets of Cherokee Child and Family Services.  However, according to the indictment, Weed converted a portion of the funds for his benefit and used the funds to pay himself over$100,000 in fees.

"It's our contention that these were not funds owed to him," Gibbons said.

"Mr. Weed did us a bad deed," Madison added. "It's finally catching up with him."

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