Cody lawyer forfeits law license and office

Sep 28, 2013 The Associated Press

CODY -- A Cody attorney was stripped of her law license in January after raiding more $695,000 from a client's trust fund. Now, she's lost her former law office in Cody, too.

Jody Montgomery Vannoy's office was auctioned off last week to satisfy a more than $760,000 civil judgment for money she misappropriated and her former client's legal costs.

Vannoy's Jan. 30 disbarment and the Sept. 16 auction brought an end to her 26 years of practicing law in Cody, but her legal troubles may not be over: Vannoy's actions reportedly are the subject of a federal criminal investigation.

The measures against Vannoy, 54, came after she repeatedly failed to obey court orders demanding she give an accounting of the $1.32 million trust she was supposed to be managing for her client, 29-year-old Sergei Yates of Cody.

After nearly two years of delays, District Court Judge John Fenn ordered Vannoy on Aug. 17, 2012, to pay back $696,000 of funds she'd allegedly taken between 2008 and 2010. Vannoy was accused of using some of the money on lavish travel and a luxury automobile (also auctioned off this month).

Fenn said Vannoy mixed Yates' funds with her own and refused to provide an accounting of the assets. He called her "willful, continual and repeated disobedience" of the court's orders the most extreme he'd seen.

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