Orlando attorney accused of taking over $100K from clients, fleeing

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ORLANDO, Fla. —

Channel 9's Lori Brown found an Orlando attorney is on the run with more than $100,000 that he owes his clients.

Ramon Melendez's law office sits empty on East Robison Street in Orlando after Melendez allegedly took off with no warning.

His clients said the office looked and worked as any other in the area, but they soon learned he took off with their money without warning and hasn’t been able to be located.

"He's a crook," one victim told Channel 9.

An Ocoee couple in their 70s who did not want to show their faces said they lost $17,000.

"He don't belong outside. He belong inside in jail," they said.

One man alone lost $100,000 to Melendez, court documents show.

State Farm issued the settlement in both the law firm and victim's name, but the victim never saw a dime, according to Brown.

A third client lost $15,000, Brown said.

The Florida Bar later showed the Ocoee couple a copy of the check they were supposed to have received.

"He signed the check with my name and her name," the husband said.  "I feel bad, because I was made a fool."

The couple hired Melendez because a friend recommended him. He had been practicing law in Florida since 2000.

Before getting his license suspended, the Northeastern Law School grad had a clean slate with the bar.

Melendez is not yet facing any criminal charges.

"This attorney's conduct certainly constitutes theft," said WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer.

"I have a dream to see the guy behind bars.I have a dream to see the guy do nothing to nobody else," one victim said.

Melendex was last seen at his Casselberry condo in August. No one came to the door on Monday when WFTV knocked.

The Florida Bar is considering a Supreme Court recommendation that Melendez be permanently disbarred and repay his victims.