FORT MYERS, Fla. — A former attorney who lives in Fort Myers but
also had an office in Winter Haven has pleaded guilty to concealment
of assets from a bankruptcy estate, the Federal Bureau of
Investigation recently reported.
Josiah Hutton, 60, is facing a maximum penalty of five years in a
federal prison, with his sentencing scheduled for June 5. The FBI
made the announcement on March 15.
Hutton was retained to represent a debtor who was getting ready to
make a bankruptcy filing, the plea agreement said. The attorney had
received a settlement check before the filing of a bankruptcy
The check was the property of the debtor’s bankruptcy estate,
and Hutton deposited the check into his attorney escrow account.
Hutton prepared and certified the bankruptcy petition for the debtor,
but failed to list the settlement check among the assets, which kept
it hidden from creditors and the bankruptcy court.
Following the debtor’s petition being filed, Hutton embezzled
a large portion of the settlement check for his own use.
The FBI and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigated
the case, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Poor handled the
Hutton had abandoned his practice after a number of missteps.
Last year, the Florida Bar suspended
Hutton for misappropriation of a client's funds. He misappropriated
almost $191,000 from a trust account, an investigation revealed.
In 2012, Hutton had been placed on five years probation by the
Florida Bar after pleading guilty to driving under the influence in
In 2000, Hutton was suspended for 30 days for practicing law while
being suspended, and in 1995, he was cited for trust account
Hutton's profile page
on the Florida Bar website said that he was admitted to the state bar
on March 5, 1989. He earned his law degree in 1987 from the
University of South Carolina School of Law.