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Milwaukee Man Poses as Lawyer, Receives Prison Sentence

Prosecutors are aggressive when pursuing individuals who are suspected of white collar crimes, such as identity theft. A conviction for charges like identity theft can lead to severe consequences such as prison time.

A Milwaukee man is discovering what sort of penalties come with a white collar crime conviction. He was recently sentenced after being charged in December with criminal counts that included identity theft and forgery after it was discovered that he pretended to be lawyer. He represented people in civil, divorce and small claims matters.

According to the report, the man had been using an actual attorney's bar number in order to appear as a licensed attorney. He had initially wanted to be a paralegal and somehow got carried away.

The man pled guilty to practicing law without a license, as well as misappropriating an identity in order to obtain money, and theft. He was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison with extended supervision following his release. Additionally, he cannot do any work in the legal profession during the supervisory period.

The man apologized for his mistakes and is trying to pay back his former clients. The judge ordered the man to pay restitution to clients, a credit union, and even a bank that handled the counterfeit checks.

In some instances, individuals find themselves in situations because of a few poor decisions along the way. Many do not realize initially that their actions are against the law until it's too late. Often it helps to speak with someone who understands the complexities of the criminal charges that one could be facing.

Source: Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel online, "Phony lawyer sentenced to 2½ years in prison," Bruce Vielmetti, 07 April 2011

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