Things keep getting worse for two local accountants awaiting their fate in the Erath County Jail.
Paul Lansford and David Cheatham turned themselves in to the Erath County Jail Thursday morning. The two are accused of stealing millions of dollars from local families, a church and one nonprofit organization.
But late Thursday afternoon, one of the alleged victims fired back.
The Beyer family filed a civil suit against Cheatham and Lansford seeking to stop the suspects from selling any of their assets.
The papers were filed by the family’s attorney Jason Johnson and claims the accountants were negligent in their fiduciary duties and unlawfully used the money in the Beyer family trusts for their own personal benefit. The petition also alleges that the suspects acted in a fraudulent manner by telling the Beyer family the multiple trust funds in their care were secure and “would be available for distribution at the appropriate time.”
The suit claims that in May 2009, after months of attempting to obtain information about the status of the accounts by the family, Jim Beyer was contacted by Cheatham and Lansford who asked that he and his sister Carol Ann Ables attend a meeting. During the meeting, Beyer and Ables were informed that all trust funds had been exhausted and no money remained in any of the accounts.
“The defendants provided information which clearly demonstrated how all funds, over a period of many years, had been systematically withdrawn by and for the sole benefit of the defendants,” the suit states.
Johnson is asking for a temporary restraining order that would prevent Cheatham and Lansford from destroying, selling or concealing any property that they own or making withdrawals from from any checking or savings accounts.