By Natalie Fultz (WLTZ)
COLUMBUS, GA - Several months ago Michael Eddings world came crashing down after allegations of fraud. The once prominent real estate attorney and business owner breaks his silence on the shocking charges.
Michael Eddings was on top of the world...a successful law practice, his businesses booming in Uptown and a credible reputation.
Today nearly all of that is gone.
With his law license in jeopardy, for the first time Michael Eddings breaks his silence on the epic downfall after allegations of fraud and conversion.
"I feel that I've been victimized in this situation greatly. I would hate further injury. It has been a complete financial collapse for me. I've lost everything that you can imagine financially. I'm not going to complain about it because there are other people who have suffered a loss, but it's been a complete financial collapse for me...homes, property, money in the bank, everything has been taken, businesses. I mean I can't even imagine a worse loss for anyone to suffer financially than what I have suffered," Eddings says.
In 2007, small amounts of money began disappearing from the escrow account at Michael Eddings law firm.
But Eddings claims he had nothing to do with it, telling WLTZ that he was the victim and his former wife Sonya Eddings was to blame.
"I had absolutely nothing to do with what happened. I had no knowledge of this. It was completely outside of my company policies and things that we stood for at the office. There were checks made regularly, routinely, yet this happened because somebody, and when I say somebody we all know who the person is, kind of went above and beyond to shield and hide information," Eddings says.
"To the people out there who say how you didn't know what was going on, I mean what would you say?" NBC 38's Natalie Fultz asks.
"Well I mean people are going to have their opinions. They were not there. They weren't at the office. They don't know the checks and balances we had in place at the office, and they don't know the extent to how this was pulled off and the number of years it had been on going," Eddings says.
Eddings firm was failing to pay off their clients mortgages at real estate closings. In 2011, Eddings trust account was frozen and an investigation began. People were left with foreclosures or still owing money to the bank even though they believed there mortgages had already been paid off.
"You know they were supposed to have a mortgage paid off, it was supposed to be paid off that day that they closed at my office. There's no excuse for a mortgage not being paid off when it's supposed to be paid off. That's the standard. That was what was supposed to happen. I feel very awful and bad for what happened to those folks and it shouldn't have happened," Eddings says.
With over two million dollars unaccounted for and dozens of complaints currently being processed by the State Bar of Georgia, attorney Eddings is also facing an ongoing criminal investigation by the FBI.
"Whatever price I have to pay for what happened, then I'm prepared to pay whatever price that is," Eddings says.
WLTZ NBC 38
6140 Buena Vista Rd, Columbus, GA 31907, 706-561-3838
GA News Hotline: 706-507-6397
AL News Hotline: firstname.lastname@example.org