Dustin Johnson has filed a racketeering lawsuit against Nathan Hardwick and various officers with the Morris Firm in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.
Attorneys for Mark and Gerard Wittstadt, who are partners with the Morris Firm who were also named in the suit that was filed on Tuesday, requested the court seal the complaint and judge Steve Jones partially granted the request. What remained in the public record suggests an attempt by Hardwick to embezzle Johnson.
In the portion of the suit that remained unsealed, attorneys for Johnson presented evidence of a Georgia man, Jim Pritchard, who was also suing Hardwick for an unpaid $2 million loan. The connection between Johnson and Pritchard remains unclear.
According to various media reports in late August, Hardwick – who was a former board member for the Dustin Johnson Foundation – was accused of embezzling $30 million from the Morris Firm.
Johnson announced in September that he was taking an indefinite leave of absence from golf because of “personal challenges,” and a day later Golf.com reported he had been suspended for failing his third drug test.
His manager told GolfChannel.com on Friday that Johnson would not defend his title at next week’s WGC-HSBC Champions and won’t play again until next year, after his fiancée Paulina Gretzky gives birth to the couple’s first child.