Former Shreveport attorney gets 5 years in federal prison for ly - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Former Shreveport attorney gets 5 years in federal prison for lying in bankruptcy court

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SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -

A former Shreveport attorney has been sentenced to 5 years in federal prison and ordered to pay $1 million in restitution, after pleading guilty to lying in bankruptcy court about his client knowing what he'd done with their money.

According to the U.S. District Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Texas, 52-year-old James Ward Davis pleaded guilty back in April to making a false statement in court during his bankruptcy proceeding.

Davis, formerly of the Shreveport law firm Jones, Odom, Davis & Politz, operated and controlled Tower Hill Energy Company, LLC, which purported to be in the business of acquiring oil, gas, and mineral leases, interests, and royalties in north Louisiana.

In February 2009, prosecutors say Tower Hill entered into an agreement with a Texas company known as Furie Petroleum. By way of the agreement, Tower Hill was obligated to acquire mineral rights on Furie’s behalf. Furie agreed to deposit $1 million to be used by Tower Hill “solely for the acquisition of Mineral Leases or purchase contracts/options to acquire Mineral Leases.” A client trust account for Davis’s law firm was used for escrow.

After Furie made the deposit, Davis transferred the $1 million out of the firm’s trust account into a Tower Hill escrow account and then used the funds to address personal and business expenditures. In June 2010, Davis and his wife filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the Western District of Louisiana. They then sought to convert the bankruptcy case from Chapter 7 to Chapter 11. A hearing was held on that motion in August 2010. During the proceeding, Davis falsely stated under oath that Furie was aware of the disposition of the $1 million deposit after he removed the funds from the client trust account.

Federal prosecutors say that Davis never told Furie or its representatives that he had transferred the money out of the Tower Hill escrow account and used the funds for personal and unrelated business purposes.

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