TIFTON -- Attorney David Roy Hege, 56, was arrested at his Hummingbird Haven home in Tift County Friday afternoon and charged with four felony counts of theft by deception.

Mike Lewis, Special Agent in Charge of the Sylvester office of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, told The Tifton Gazette that GBI Agent Stacy Carson secured the warrant for Hege's arrest Friday morning.

Lewis said other agencies request GBI agent involvement to conduct criminal investigations.

"We are the primary investigator in this case and were assisted by the D.A. (district attorney) and then later by the (Tift County) sheriff's department," Lewis said.

Lewis said complaints from Hege's clients can be made to his office and other law enforcement agencies. More charges against Hege may be forthcoming.

District Attorney Paul Bowden did not return a telephone call before press time Friday.

The four individual warrants for Hege's arrest were issued by Tift County Magistrate Doug Jones. All four are related to evidence gathered concerning an individual client or former client of Hege's.

The man reportedly has polio and alleges to have paid Hege approximately $5,000, only $350 of which Hege paid to the bankruptcy court. The man subsequently had his older model mobile home and truck repossessed by creditors and had to move in with his sister.

Lewis said Hege was arrested without incident.

Hege will remain incarcerated at the Tift County Law Enforcement Center's jail until such time a Tift County Superior Court Judge issues bond. It is not known when Hege will appear before a judge for arraignment.

Hege was released from a federal prison on Oct. 4, 1988 after serving time on a federal tax evasion conviction. He was elected by Tift County voters in 1986 to serve as State Court Solicitor.

Hege's license to practice law was suspended May 23 by the U.S. Supreme Court and his arrest/conviction could lead to disbarment.

Convictions on charges of theft by deception can carry a sentence of one to 10 years in prison on each count.

When asked when the investigative file was turned over to Bowden, Lewis replied that the case remains active and the file remains open.

"We aren't complete with it," Lewis said.

To contact reporter Angie Thompson, call 382-4321, ext. 208.

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