Dustin Johnson was allegedly scammed out of $3 million by a group of his trusted advisers, one of whom used to occupy a seat on the Dustin Johnson Foundation, according to a lawsuit Johnson filed this week in Georgia that was obtained and reported on by Housingwire.com.
The lawsuit alleges that Nathan Hardwick, formerly of Atlanta’s Morris Hardwick Schneider law firm, along with Mark Wittstadt and Gerard Wittstadt used Johnson’s money to cover shortages created when Hardwick allegedly embezzled more than $30 million from the title firm’s accounts and trust accounts.
Housingwire.com reports that Hardwick resigned from the firm in August. The firm has subsequently filed a lawsuit against Hardwick alleging he used a portion of the embezzled money to fund travel on private jets, repay gambling debts and purchase a condominium at the St. Regis Atlanta.
Johnson’s lawsuit alleges Hardwick asked for the $3 million to fund an investment and promised to repay the money plus an additional $1 million over a 30-month term.
Hambric Sports Management President David N. Winkle, Johnson’s agent, had no comment when contacted via email by Golf.com.
Housingwire.com reported the attorney representing Hardwick released a statement saying he is not guilty of “any improper, illegal or unethical conduct,” and Hardwick believes the money he received was “properly distributed to him as his share of the profits of the firm.”
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Johnson hasn’t played on the PGA Tour since announcing July 31 he was taking a leave of absence “to seek professional help for personal challenges I have faced.” Golf.com reported the next day he was serving a six-month suspension from the PGA Tour after testing positive for cocaine, his third failed drug test.