Monday, April 24, 2017

Zebert paroled

The Mississippi Parole Board voted to grant parole to convicted embezzler and disbarred attorney Jason Zebert.  Zebert was released on February 19, 2016.  

Mr. Zebert became guardian of an estate in 2000. He issued loans on behalf of the state for $44,468 and $133,749 in 2011 without court approval. The balance in the estate was $6,555 after the transactions took place. When questioned about the documentation for the disbursements, Mr. Zebert conjured up the spirit of Mike Brown and said they were destroyed by water damage in his office. Judge Dan Fairly ordered him imprisoned in July, 2012. Mr. Zebert appealed. The court affirmed Judge Fairly's incarceration of Mr. Zebert (The opinion is posted below and reports more specific information about this affair.). 

Zebert's thieving ways came as a shock to many in Rankin County since he was the son of a well-respected Rankin County Chancellor.  The grand jury indicted him and he pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement on February 17, 2015.    Circuit Judge Bill Chapman sentenced him to serve twenty years in prison but suspended ten years of the sentence.  The judge also sentenced him to supervised probation for five years upon release from prison and ordered him to pay restitution of $198,669.  Judge Chapman did give him credit for time served (Two years, seven months).

Zebert also pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to one count of embezzlement.  A federal grand jury indicted in January 2014 for embezzling from the Veteran's Administration from 2004 to 2011.   Judge Carlton Reeves sentenced him to serve twenty-four months in prison.  The Bureau of Prisons website states he was released on October 13, 2015.  Judge Reeves also sentenced him to a three year term of supervised probation. Oddly enough, the court also placed a special condition on his probation that decreed he could not "incur new credit charges or open any credit lines without the approval of the credit officer." 

Kingfish note: Embezzle six figures, serve only a few years in prison.  Parole. Rinse. Repeat.

Posted below:
State conviction
Federal indictment
Mississippi Court of Appeals opinion on contempt incarceration
Federal sentence


Anonymous said...

all federal sentences that include supervision include the language about no new credit without permission of the BOP supervision officer or the Court. Its routine, not odd.

Anonymous said...

Thanks SG!

Anonymous said...

So what happened to the women who received the money? Zebert gave Sherri Baggett $75,000 and Jimmie Susan Fowler over $58K, according to the document. One can only assume what these women used as a "down payment".

Were they compelled to return the ill-gotten funds? Since Zebert is legally obligated to make restitution, do they get off scot-free and get to keep the money?

Anonymous said...

Stealing $200k from what is obviously an incapacitated veteran under the guise of taking care of him. Serve a couple of years in prison. Have to pay restitution of the gigantic sum of $500/month. Granted, its for 33 years, but the odds of that happening are slim. Question is - does the vet have to do without his benefits for all this time while the honorable barrister enjoyed use of his benefits? Obviously so.

Glad the Judges finally brought him to his knees and put his sorry as in jail for failing to account for the stolen money. Granted, they kept giving this scumbag extra times and extensions, apparantly for more than three years before he finally admitted (somewhat) that he 'misappropriated' (read - stole) most all of the money.

Its practicing lawyers like this sorry bastard that give the profession such a wonderful reputation. Somebody ought to be finding whatever assets he has stashed away and start the liquidation process immediately.

Anonymous said...

Last week there was a conversation on this website about an unnamed attorney who embezzled from his client but had done his sentence and made restitution, so some well-connected lawyers were working to get him reinstated as an attorney.

Since then, there have been two stories about other attorneys (Vann Leonard and Jason Zebert) who just got out of jail for stealing at least six figures from their clients.

I do not comprehend how lawyers want to readmit people who betrayed their clients and stole from them, no matter how sorry they are or how much community service they have done.

This is why people hate lawyers. You won't even hold yourselves to standards of decent behavior unless you get caught, and even then you want to let some of those lawbreakers back into the clubhouse.

Seriously, if you people ever wonder why your profession is so reviled, look at these two guys and throw in all the entreaties on behalf of Mr. Anonymous, Esq.

Anonymous said...

Agree, 3:03, except that Mr. Zebert is even worse than you say. He stole from his "client", but in this case the client didn't choose Mr. Zebert to represent him. Evidently, the 'client' from whom Zebert stole almost everything in his bank account was incapable of handling his own affairs for some reason. Zebert stole from someone that was incapable of having a say-so about anything. Much worse than betraying the average client who chose the lawyer.

Anonymous said...

I suspect that anyone who thinks three years in prison is a light thing, has not served time in prison.

Think what you're doing today, how your family is, etc. Now imagine spending the next three years in prison.

someoneinnorthms said...

I'm one lawyer who would never recommend either of the two you mentioned be re-admitted. There is a huge difference between taking $1,000 out of trust for a personal use and putting it back the next week and taking hundreds of thousands and not paying it back at all. Both are bad. Both are illegal. Both are unethical. But in the latter situation it is incredibly egregious. I cannot imagine betraying a client's trust in that manner. Maybe (just maybe) someone who committed the former act could be redeemed and readmitted. Someone who did the latter? In my little opinion--never.

Anonymous said...

Then why does it keep happening over and over. Obviously there is no fear of consequences and a great propensity for rolling the dice and taking your chances, assuming you will come out, at the end, a winner, financially.

I've heard quite enough bitching and moaning from so called 'reputable' attorneys who claim these bastards should never be readmitted. Question is, what are you or the larger group of attorneys doing about making this crap unattractive?

Anonymous said...

Jason goes to jail.
Lawyer who embezzled from insurance companies while at white shoe law firm
is never charged
and now is about to be reinstated.

Anonymous said...

Do you people not have anything better to do with your time? Is your lives THAT mundane, boring or uneventful that y'all actually have time to sit down and write some of these loooonggg comments that at the end of the day, no one really cares about your thoughts and opinions. Let's work on finding some hobbies since obviously your jobs or families don't take up enough of your time.

Anonymous said...

To the attorney/attorney sympathizer at 9:54 who is squirming at the notion that anyone would dare question their rules of acceptable behavior - Have you never visited this or any other blog site before?

Anonymous said...

9:54; As a family member, YOUR hobby should simply be making some cookies and casseroles for the parolee. He should be arriving shortly. Enjoy your time together.

Anonymous said...

You are so boring! Cookies and casseroles....very original. Maybe you could give me some of your recipes?? Or maybe. You would like to put them in your very own cookbook titled, To all of the people that are beneath me who has ever made bad choices in their life.

Family member? That is not the case. All I know is that his father was a very good man and helped me out when I myself was in some of my darkest days. I made some of my worst decisions that hurt other people. All I can do now and in my future is correct my bad choices and mistakes, not make them again, and MoveOn. It self-righteous people like you who believe that they are perfect and are out there to judge every other single human being on this earth who has done something bad.

Again, find a hobby.

Anonymous said...

"I was in prison and you came to visit me … I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."
Matthew 25:36, 40

Anonymous said...

'All I know is his father.....'. What the hell has this got to do with his father, or for that matter, YOUR 'bad choices'?

Anonymous said...

Zebert was sentenced, and as a part of his sentence he has been ordered to pay restitution by - at the very least - Judge Chapman. Restitution is impossible to pay while incarcerated, so Judge Chapman did the smart thing: suspend 10 years of his sentence and place upon Zebert the responsibility of paying the restitution over the course of the probation. Should he not pay the restitution, Judge Chapman has 10 years to revoke as a violation of his post-release supervision.

That's what the actual sentence means.

This site routinely brings up representative cases as a means to argue against the implementation of HB 585, and in doing so, routinely misleads its audience.

This site talks about inmates being paroled for well, just about anything. While it may be true that Zebert was paroled, let's not compare apples to oranges. While a non-violent offender remains parole eligible, inmates convicted of “violent offenses” have been ineligible for parole since June 30, 1995. See Miss. Code Ann. § 47-7-3(1)(f). Confusing administrative early release with parole is just plain lazy.

“No person who, on or after July 1, 2014, is convicted of a crime of violence pursuant to Section 97-3-2, a sex crime or an offense that specifically prohibits parole release, shall be eligible for parole. All persons convicted of any other offense on or after July 1, 2014, are eligible for parole after they have served one-fourth ( ¼ ) of the sentence or sentences imposed by the trial court.” Miss. Code Ann. § 47-7-3(1)(g)(i).

Prior to HB 585, there was no the number of administrative reductions an inmate could receive. HB 585 stopped that and put into place what can only be called "mandatory minimums" for sentences, no matter whether they be non-violent or violent.

ERS, trusty time (30 for 30), MET can only be applied to eligible inmates, and those reductions can only back up the release date to 25% of the total time for non-violent offenders and 50% of the total time for non-violent offenders.

Armed robbery, attempted armed robbery, and sex crimes remain day-for-day sentences. Nothing has changed this at all.

I understand people being upset and lashing out at everything, but HB 585 should not be the target of your anger.

To those who think Zebert has any chance of making an earning again, you guys are like Butch and Sundance, peering over the edge of a cliff to the boulder-filled rapids three-hundred feet below thinking you better not jump because there's a chance you might drown. Zebert gets out of prison, is disgraced in the only county that really knows him, and you worry about how much time he actually served? Because the fall has already killed him.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the dissertation, counselor. What passes for justice in the twisted logic of your profession never ceases to amaze me.

You say that Zebert was released so he could make restitution. In the same post, you assert that Zebert will never make a living again. So which is it?

Forgive me for my simple thinking, for I do not possess a law degree. Having said that, it seems to me that the first place to go would be the ladies who received the money. The loans that were made to them in an illegal circumstance should nullify any agreement they had with Zebert and require the immediate repayment of those funds.

Next, any assets Zebert holds should be liquidated for the purpose of restitution. That should provide a significant remuneration to the victim.

"Alas, poor Zebert! I knew him well! He lost his big income!"

I have heard this lament from lawyers on this site more than once about their fellow attorneys who were caught stealing, as if it is an inalienable right for a lawyer to make hundreds of thousands of dollars and that they should be pitied for losing that.

Pardon me if I don't weep for poor Mr. Zebert and his fall. He may not be allowed to practice law any longer, but he is out and can eat in restaurants, go to the movies, sleep in a nice bed, go water skiing on the lake, and do many things that those of us who HAVEN'T stolen from people and HAVEN'T forfeited our freedoms do. If he cannot make a living, then he can not make that living inside the Graybar.

It's not about money. It's about justice and paying your debt. That's where the anger comes from, sir, and I am constantly amazed that you and your ilk in the legal profession are completely blind to that fact.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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