Arlington County police said yesterday they believe Fairfax County lawyer Spiros S. Anthony may have fled to Greece in an effort to avoid prosecution on a charge that he obtained $40,500 under false pretenses.
Separately, an FBI spokesman said that agency is seeking Anthony whose law license has been suspended by Virginia authorities, on a charge of interstate flight to avoid prosecution on charges related to an Arlington investigation into alleged foreign currency manipulation at a Washington area bank.
The disclosures came a day after the Virginia State Bar announced that it has suspended the Northern Virginia lawyer from the practice of law for 18 months on charges that he settled a client's lawsuit without the client's knowledge or approval.
A portly, 35-year-old graduate of Howard University, Anthony's clients have included former boxing champion Muhammad Ali, wealthy Arabians and a foreign airline.
A secretary of Anthony's Fairfax County law office said Thursday she believed that Anthony had left the country and would not return.
Yesterday Arlington Police Capt. William A. Allen said Anthony is believed to have gone to Greece and said he was uncertain whether Anthony could be extradicted, if he is located there.
Commonwealth's Attorney William S. Burroughs said Anthony allegedly wrote a check for $40,500 to a client and the check bounced.
Burroughs declined to elaborate on the investigation and Allen refused to name the person who allegedly lost the $40,500 in the transaction. The warrant against the lawyer alleges that he obtained $40,500 "by means of false pretense . . . with intent to defraud," Allen said.
This week the Virginia National Bank filed papers in Arlington Circuit Court seeking to attach Anthony's property which includes a boutique, named after his wife Eftychia; a gift shop, and SSA Enterprises Inc., an international investment company, according to James Korman, a lawyer with Virginia National Bank. The bank claims that Anthony owes it $201,075 with interest.
Anthony represented former heavyweight boxing champion Ali for four months in 1976 but was sued for $20 million by the boxer last year for allegedly misusing money placed in an escrow account to pay taxes. Anthony agred to pay Ali $390,000 at the rate of $20,000 a month in an out-of-court settlement.
Ali claimed that Anthony "breached his duties as trustee" for part of Ali's $6.1 million gross from his boxing victory over Ken Norton in September 1976 in New York.