Wichita attorney disappears, clients say he took their money with him
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Where is Devoe Treadwell? That’s the question clients, and those in the courthouse are asking after the well-known Wichita attorney stopped showing up to court or even returning calls. Clients tell FactFinder Investigators that he disappeared, along with the money they paid him.
“He came very highly recommended, very highly recommended,” said Angie Calderon who reported hiring Treadwell to represent her son. “But with no explanation, clients say Treadwell stopped showing up to court hearings, and now they can’t reach him.
“This is not ok. You are messing with people’s lives,” said Calderon, who claims she paid Treadwell $5,000. FactFinder talked to another client who wanted his identity protected. He said Treadwell didn’t show to his court hearing.
“He was charging $4,500 and wanted a down payment to $3,000,” the man said.
He said he made that down payment in case.
FactFinder 12 tried calling and leaving messages for Treadwell, but his office voicemail is full. His office in downtown Wichita is locked with notes from clients and delivery driver’s taped to the door that date back to mid-December.
We found Treadwell at his southeast Wichita home, but he closed the door before we could ask any questions.
Since we began investigating Treadwell’s whereabouts, other clients have called FactFinder saying the same thing happened to them. “I just want my money back. I don’t care what he’s doing I just want my money back.”
Many of those clients are looking for help. Treadwell is still listed in “good standing” with the Kansas Judicial Center Attorney Registration. There has been no recent disciplinary action taken against Treadwell, but any current investigations would not be public.
However, the Wichita Bar Association is now working with clients affected. They encourage those clients to call their office at email@example.com or 316-263-2251.
There may also be financial relief available for clients through the Kansas Client Protection Fund. The fund, overseen by a commission, pays people that suffer economic loss as a result of dishonest actions by Kansas lawyers. Clients may file complaints against Kansas-licensed attorneys. Those complaints must be in writing and filed with the Office of the Disciplinary Administrator. Information can be found at www.kscourts.org.
“Somebody needs to relay information to us because people’s lives are in the balance,” said Calderon.
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