State Bar: Mesa attorney disbarred for criminal acts and deceiving client

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MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Suspended attorney Thomas F. Kelley of Mesa has been disbarred for reportedly violating Arizona’s securities laws.

The Arizona State Bar also says Kelley improperly obtained about $1.4 million from investors in one case and failed to refund $10,900 to a client in another.

Kelley was disbarred after failing to file an answer or otherwise defend against the Bar’s formal complaint that included two counts of misconduct. He was administratively suspended from the practice of law during the formal disciplinary proceeding.

While general counsel, president and/or CEO of International Air Medical Services, Kelley was investigated by the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) for possible fraud involving the solicitation of investors and the sale of stock.

The ACC found that he committed numerous violations of the Arizona Securities Act that included the Sale of Unregistered Securities, a class 4 felony; Transactions by Unregistered Dealers and Salesmen, a class 4 felony; and Fraud in Purchase or Sale of Securities. On June 27, 2013, the ACC filed an Order to Cease and Desist, Order for Restitution, Order for Administrative Penalties and Consent to Same. He was ordered to pay a $50,000 penalty and $1,406,300 in restitution to the State of Arizona. 

In an unrelated matter, during November 2013, a client signed a service agreement with Kelley’s air medical transport company International Life Flight, after her husband became critically ill while in New York and needed to be transported to Connecticut. She paid an advance fee of $11,900 under the agreement, which should have been reimbursed less any co-insurance or co-deductible within 30 days after receiving payment in full from the client and her husband’s insurance carrier.

After more than two years of waiting for reimbursement, Kelley sent his client $1,000 but made no further payments, even though his company collected more than $157,000 for the medical transport of her now-deceased husband.

Thomas F. Kelley’s disbarment was effective Oct. 2, 2017. He was ordered to pay $10,900 in restitution to his client and $2,010.30 for the costs and expenses associated with his disciplinary proceedings to the State Bar of Arizona. 

Consumers may report attorney misconduct by calling the State Bar of Arizona Attorney/Consumer Assistance Program (A/CAP) hotline at 602-340-7280.

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