JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- Local attorney Kelly Mathis says he's not the mastermind behind an alleged veterans charity scandal.
Mathis did an interview Wednesday with the Associated Press. He claims he was just the registered agent, which is a person who gets important legal and tax documents for a company. Mathis told the AP, "There is no connection. They're trying to force a connection and that's all they've got, is to say that I was the registered agent, that I had some relationship to all of these companies."
[VETERANS CHARITY SCANDAL: SPECIAL COVERAGE]
Local attorney Janet Johnson says Mathis appeared as more than just a registered agent and attorney for Allied Veterans of the World. "This looks like he went well beyond just giving advice. He helped them perpetrate a crime," said Johnson.
Johnson says Mathis' name appears over and over in the documents. He has even done interviews in the past, speaking on behalf of the organization. "He's the registered agent of all companies. That'd be an outrageous coincidence. He's gone one step further and filed lawsuits, done speeches. He's the face of the company," said Johnson.
But she says he has a defense with his claims of innocence if the evidence doesn't contradict his story. "He denied culpability and I would expect that. That's not surprising. He put out the idea that he didn't have the relationship everyone says he had. Now if the evidence contradicts that, he's going to look like a liar and that won't help his image," said Johnson.
Mathis is out on bond and due back in court for arraignment in May. The National Commander of Allied Veterans of the World, Jerry Bass, is still in jail.