Tipler arrested on new charges

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 6, 2011

A former Andalusia attorney has been rearrested in Okaloosa County, Fla., on new racketeering charges and for allegedly practicing law while disbarred or suspended.

A spokesman from the Okaloosa County, Fla., Sheriff’s Office said a warrant was served Saturday on James Harvey Tipler, now of Destin, Fla., on the new charges.

Tipler, 60, is currently awaiting trial on $100,000 bond after being arrested previously on a charge of racketeering on Sept. 23, 2009, and again on May 4, 2010.

Those charges resulted from investigations by the Office of the State Attorney and Florida Department of Law Enforcement, with the assistance of the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office and the Ft. Walton Beach and Pensacola police departments, regarding complaints of theft, fraud and other offenses.

The complaints surrounded Tipler’s operation of an immigration service business in Okaloosa and Walton counties.

On May 20, 2010, Okaloosa Circuit Judge Bill Stone ordered Tipler not to go to the business offices of the IMM Centers, to close the business, to have no personal contact with his clients/cus-tomers.

However, investigators said Tipler continued to operate an immigration business.

According to the affidavit, a Korean pastor in Crestview, Fla., as well as others allegedly paid Tiple, for his legal assistance in applying for U.S. citizenship and immigration services for a visa; however, he did not follow through with the applications and did not give the customers refunds.