Over the past three years, the number of complaints against fraudsters pretending to be professionally licensed Divorce Lawyers in the United States has increased dramatically. According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), the scam artists are deceiving about 1,500 people a day as Divorce Lawyers.
Immediately, it is worth noting that the famous fraudster Frank Abagnale wrote a lot about the prospects of false advocacy (Catch Me If You Can) was filmed about his life. In the 60s and 70s, he pretended to be a doctor, a lawyer, an airplane pilot, a private detective, and other specialists. “The easiest way is to pretend to be a lawyer,” Abagnale said frankly. It requires an expensive suit, perfect haircut, and confidence. If all this is available, then even strangers immediately take you as a lawyer. ”
The criminal “exploits” of Abigail, for which he served a total of about 14 years, still haunt the fraudulent adventurers who want to earn extra money on other people’s problems.
The most paradoxical thing is that today it is much easier to pretend to be a Divorce Lawyers than any other specialist. For example, if you decide to work as a homeowner without an HHA certificate or drive a truck without a CDL, then the secret will become apparent as a result of the very first check of higher authorities.
As for false divorce lawyers, most of them do not directly obey anyone, and fraudsters go unpunished for years. It is for this reason that one of the oldest organizations, the American Bar Association (ABA), continually reminds ordinary Americans that, before hiring a lawyer, you need to make sure that he is precisely what he seems to be.
Check it out pretty easy. Just type the phrase Check Lawyer License in Google, add the state, and follow the first or second link.
In New York, for example, Google will throw on the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) and the New York State Unified Court System.
Unfortunately, many people in need of a lawyer believe their saviors for a word, which they later regret very much. Thus, in Florida, a false lawyer, who was imprisoned for drug trafficking and car theft, presented himself as a divorce expert. The fraudster was a very subtle psychologist, offering hostile husbands and wives to sue the no longer beloved second half of “one hundred percent of the property.” For his services, the swindler took from $ 10 to $ 30 thousand. He disappeared, as a rule, on the day of the trial.
The victims of the false-lawyer were mostly people who wanted to save money on the problematic divorce proceedings. They did not seek to hire well-known lawyers officially advertised in the media but sought out assistants on dubious Internet sites.
In California, there was a case when a murder suspect received a lengthy prison sentence due to the offensive work of a lawyer who studied law only from Hollywood films. The convict demanded a review of the case, but the judge refused. The executor of the legislation explained that each defendant chooses a defender himself and hiring a fraudster is his fault exclusively.
In the opinion of real lawyers, thanks to his “advocate,” the defendant received 20 years more than he could have won, in general, having refused the services of a lawyer.
Washington resident Randall D., who came to America from Africa and spent nearly ten years on benefits, found customers in bars where illegal immigrants gathered. He talked colorfully about his connections in courts and immigration departments, promising a green card in six months. For his services, Randall took $ 10,000. In the list of his victims were 38 people. Moreover, only two wrote applications to the prosecutor’s office. The rest were afraid that they would become defendants in the criminal case.
Immigration false lawyers, unfortunately, every year becomes more and more.
For example, in California, former home appliance sales manager José Rodriguez, who pretended to be a divorce lawyer with 15 years of experience, was deceiving people for seven years. Rodriguez took the money and told semi-fantastic stories about how he defended their rights in court, how he argued with judges and prosecutors. In one case, the fraudster took $ 30,000 per person for a green card, giving him a stolen staff ID and a social insurance card bought in the underground market for $ 200.
Rodriguez died of a heart attack, which finally buried the hopes of his victims. If he was alive during the trial, the victims could count on a second chance. Today, it is easier to hold accountable immigration attorneys to justice than 10 to 15 years ago. The main thing is to prove their guilt and incompetence in court.
A scammer from Wisconsin by the name of Davis, who worked as a pimp all his life, decided to appear as an attorney specializing in the opening and promotion of small businesses. He approached the task as responsibly as possible: he found lawyers by the name of Davis in the Yellow Pages directory, checked everyone through the Internet (social networks, official websites, etc.) and pretended to be anyone except the name and surname in the World there was no information on the web.
Actively using the image of a real lawyer Davis, the fraudster collected almost $ 200 thousand from clients. In one case, he was entrusted with obtaining the necessary licenses for the construction and opening of a supermarket. The cheater promised that he would cope with this challenging task in one month, after which he disappeared without a trace.
Most of all, real lawyers, who studied law school for a long time, passed difficult exams, obtained licenses and earned a professional reputation, suffer from false lawyers. According to unofficial data, scammers put in their pockets over $ 200 billion annually. Real lawyers do not just lose this money, but also feel the wrath of deceived clients. By contacting fraudsters, people sometimes try to throw out anger on respectable lawyers, putting an equal sign between the terms “lawyer” and “liar.”
To get rid of false divorce lawyers and save a considerable number of Americans whose lives are crumbling after hiring a fraudster as an attorney, you need to take the following steps.
First, to toughen the punishment for imposture. In most states of the country, such a crime as illegal law practice is not even a crime. A penalty or a suspended sentence is provided for this misdemeanor. Scammers know that also if they are identified and arrested, they will be able to get away from the water. Only a few of them are imprisoned.
Secondly, the Department of Justice (DOJ) must develop a new, modern system for the identification of lawyers. For many years, false lawyers freely go to judicial institutions, and no one stops them. Theoretically, however, they must show a live image (in New York, it looks like a driver’s license), which the guard must carefully check. Judicial security guards, unfortunately, are wary of the accused and victims who have entered the building of Themis.
Thirdly, the state should more actively support licensed divorce lawyers. Today on the Internet you can find a large amount of information on how to avoid becoming a victim of a fraudster-accountant, how to order a landlord to a good-for-nothing landlord, and how to choose a good real estate agent. But there is almost no information on how to avoid becoming a victim of a fraudster, an experienced lawyer and how to find an excellent lawyer.