Former Lincolnton attorney John O. Lafferty Jr. has been charged with embezzlement. The Grand Jury of Lincoln County turned a True Bill of Indictment charging Lafferty with embezzling funds in excess of $100,000 belonging to Wayne Tillman Saine. At the time of the offense, which occurred May 8, Lafferty was a guardian, administrator, executor, trustee, receiver and fiduciary of Saine.
Lafferty was arrested Wednesday, Sept. 25 in Carteret County. He posted a $250,000 bond and was released pending a first appearance in Lincoln County Superior Court Monday, Sept. 30.
The Lincolnton attorney was disbarred April 5 for willfully failing to file federal and state income taxes in a timely manner from 2000-2017, failing to pay an indeterminate amount of federal and state taxes for that timeframe and knowingly failing to timely respond to the state bar’s investigation inquiries, according to North Carolina Lawyers Weekly.
Lafferty had been an active member of the bar since 1972. His law office was on East Main Street in Lincolnton.
Lafferty voluntarily relinquished his license and conceded that the facts of the investigation were true. He acknowledged that he couldn’t successfully defend himself against any disciplinary charges established by the misconduct.
Additionally, in May 2018, Lafferty was reprimanded by the bar for failing to timely respond to the state bar’s notices of grievances filed against him. Investigations found that Lafferty failed to prepare and file a 90-day preliminary inventory for an estate and failed to reasonably communicate with the client regarding that filing.