Catledge to change his plea to guilty in federal tax case

OXFORD – Longtime Tupelo lawyer William Catledge will plead guilty next week to federal charges he lied on his federal income tax reports.
A U.S. District Court document made public Monday shows he will change his not-guilty plea before Senior Judge Neal B. Biggers Jr. The hearing is set for 10:15 a.m. Monday in Oxford.
Catledge, 54, was indicted Feb. 19 on three counts he lied on his tax returns for calendar years 2000 and 2001 and lied about his income for calendar year 2001.
The indictment accuses him of under-reporting his gross receipts by $805,751 and his income by $1.46 million.
It’s not known whether he will plead to all three counts.
Catledge, who joined the Mississippi Bar in 1985, faces a maximum nine years in prison and $300,000 fine.
The indictment against him was sealed Feb. 19 but was unsealed March 5 when he was arrested and entered his initial plea.
He has been out on $10,000 bond since then.
The plea could lead to the disbarment of Catledge, who faces other professional sanctions after a mid-January peer review of a 175-page complaint against him.
Catledge, who did not respond to a Daily Journal call for comment, is accused of seven counts of improper behavior – from failing to ensure a paralegal employee wasn’t practicing law to failure to pay what was due clients from his legal representations.
The complaint, which came to light early this year after Catledge satisfied three counts of writing bad checks in Lee County’s Circuit Court, was filed in August by the Mississippi Bar Association to the Mississippi Supreme Court.
In that document, Bar deputy general counsel Gwen Combs writes that Catledge has been discipling 13 times since 1995 – six private reprimands, three public reprimands, three informal admonitions and, in 2005, a 90-day suspension by the Mississippi Supreme Court.
Catledge has been a member of the Bar since 1985.

Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

Click video to hear audio