The count: gallons of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico after an October pipe leak_lowres

A band of oil from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

The state Supreme Court has ordered the permanent disbarment of a Mamou attorney after he allegedly skimmed $76,000 off his client’s settlement in the Deepwater Horizon case, KATC-TV is reporting.

Timmy James Fontenot was permanently disbarred by the court last week, records indicate. Fontenot already was disbarred in an unrelated matter; this action means he can never be readmitted to the practice of law in Louisiana. He also has to repay the $75,000 to a Louisiana law firm, which paid the money to the client after it discovered the incident.

In 2015, Fontenot faced formal charges from the Office of Disciplinary Counsel after he allegedly forged his clients’ signatures on settlement documents to settle their case without their permission and spent their money. The court disbarred him again in November 2017 for this, and ordered that he couldn’t apply for readmission until 2020.

The case that resulted in a permanent disbarment began in 2013, when a client of Fontenot’s began to proceed with a claim following the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in January 2013. 

In April 2016, the client received a settlement offer and accepted it. The client was supposed to get a check for $276,214, records show. Instead, the client got a check for $200,214.

The court also found that Fontenot forged his client’s signature on a check, created false document to cover his tracks, and failed to cooperate with the ODC investigation.