TALLAHASSEE — Longtime Chiefland attorney Gregory Vance Beauchamp has been placed on emergency suspension following a March 12 Florida Supreme Court order over misappropriation allegations, according to a recent announcement by the Florida Bar.
Beauchamp was jailed in February after a local judge found him in contempt but he appears to have been released before the state bar's March 29 announcement of his emergency suspension and the sate Supreme Court's order.
"Beauchamp appeared to be causing great public harm by misappropriating client funds," the state bar's announcement said.
Beauchamp was admitted to the bar in Florida on Oct. 25, 1974, according to his profile at the state bar website. No prior discipline before the state bar is listed on Beauchamp's state bar profile but the state bar's petition for emergency suspension said Beauchamp faces three disciplinary matters.
Allegations against Beauchamp stem from a meeting at his East Park Avenue office in January with a state bar investigator, who came to retrieve documents related to Beauchamp's trust accounts. A state bar grievance committee previously issued subpoenas for Beauchamp to produce the documents, according to the state bar's petition.
Beauchamp told the investigator that he couldn't produce the documents, that there was no money in his trust account, that the trust was running a deficit and that he was "liquidating two assets" to make up for the shortfall, the petition said.
"During the meeting, when asked about the missing funds in his trust account, [Beauchamp] replied, 'I took it, I took it as fees'," the petition said. "During the meeting, [Beauchamp' stated that he was 'stealing from Peter to pay Paul'."
Beauchamp surrendered Feb. 25 to Levy County sheriff officers after Eighth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Stanley H. "Stan" Griffis III found him in contempt. Griffis issued a writ of bodily attachment after Beauchamp failed to produce documents, inventory, accounting and estate monies held in trust in an estate for which Beauchamp no longer provided representation.
Beauchamp was still in the county jail when the state bar filed its petition with the Supreme Court but a more recent inmate search on Levy County Jail's website did not turn up an inmate by Beauchamp's name.