SANFORD, Fla. -- An emotional Kelly Mathis walked out of court Friday night with his wife by his side. The once prominent Jacksonville attorney is now a convicted criminal.
"This fight's not over," said his attorney Mitch Stone.
With his family tearfully watching, a Seminole County jury convicted Mathis on everything but one conspiracy charge.
State prosecutor Nick Cox said, "It makes our system look bad when you have an attorney doing something like this."
The charges stem from a statewide investigation of Internet cafes run by the now defunct charity Allied Veterans of the World.
The jury found that Mathis devised an elaborate plan to skirt state laws and create a string of strip mall casinos that brought in $300 million in just four years. Only about 2 percent of that money actually benefited the charity.
"It's against the law. That's what it comes down to," said Cox.
Mathis was one of 57 people arrested in this case and the only major player not to make a deal with the state. The man who was once so confident of his innocence left the courthouse a convict.
He said, "Attorneys all over the nation should be very afraid that six years after you give legal advice, somebody disagrees with that legal advice, and they convict you of a crime."
Mathis was not taken to jail. He'll remain free on bond until his sentencing on Feb. 12.
His most serious charge of racketeering comes with a maximum sentence of 30 years. His attorneys plan to appeal.