::Missing Chapel Hill Attorney Found In AZ
From Raleigh Chronicle Staff Reports
Saturday, September 1, 2007
RALEIGH - John Gregory McCormick, a Chapel Hill attorney who disappeared and was later accused of embezzling over $1 million from his clients, was arrested in Phoenix, Arizona on Friday morning, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced on Friday afternoon.
"I am pleased with the hard work and cooperation of law enforcement to find and capture this suspect," said Cooper in a statement to the media. "We hope some resolution and justice will be brought in this case now that he has been found."
At approximately, 12am PST, John Gregory McCormick was arrested by officers in the Phoenix Police Department said the Attorney General's office.
McCormick, who disappeared one year ago in July, was considered an upstanding attorney for many years until he was the subject of a NC State Bureau of Investigation embezzlement investigation after his disappearance. When he disappeared, his abandoned car was found, but there was no clue as to his fate until now.
In Arizona, McCormick was arrested on a federal charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. He also faces a charge of embezzling more than $802,000 in North Carolina and is suspected to have embezzled a total of more than $1 million.
One attorney familiar with McCormick's case said that it was heard in legal circles in Orange County that McCormick had left with even more money than that, after maxing out loans before leaving, although that has not been confirmed.
According to the Attorney General's Office, McCormick will be held without bond in the state of Arizona until he is returned to North Carolina.
The state says that the SBI began its investigation at the request of the Orange County District Attorney in July 2006.
On April 4, 2007 the SBI says it requested the Federal Bureau of Investigation to assist in the fugitive investigation and on April 5th, a federal arrest warrant for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution was issued.
Law enforcement says it followed leads both in the U.S. and overseas in an effort to find and arrest McCormick. There were rumors circulating that McCormick had fled to a non-extradition treaty country and did not have plans to return to the United States.
"The FBI remains committed to assisting our local and state law enforcement partners in pursuing and apprehending fugitives who flee interstate or internationally to avoid prosecution in significant cases," said Nathan T. Gray, Special Agent in Charge of the Charlotte Division in a media statement.
According to the Attorney General's office, the Chapel Hill Police Department, the Phoenix Police and the FBI all assisted in the investigation into McCormick's disappearance.
The Office of District Attorney Jim Woodall is handling prosecution of the state charge, says the Attorney General's Office. ::