A man who may have qualified as the world’s worst attorney has been arrested in Florida after it was learned he didn’t have a law license or a law school degree, according to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.
The 33-year-old faces a third-degree felony charge of fraud-impersonation and there is an ongoing search for victims who paid him for legal counseling, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.
Detectives say an unsatisfied client prompted the investigation, which culminated in a July 18 arrest at the suspect’s “law office” in Palatka, about 60 miles south of Jacksonville..
“One victim told detectives he had paid (the man) $600 to present legal documents for an conviction. The victim became suspicious due to … (his) lack of legal knowledge with the eviction process,” officials said.
“(The man) is not associated with the Florida Bar, nor has he received any education allowing him to practice law in the United States.”
In early July, he appeared in court and “presented himself as a legal representation” for a client, only to be admonished by the judge, officials said.
“The judge told (him) that he was not legally able to practice law in the state of Florida and to correct the situation,” the sheriff’s office said. “However (he) continued to keep office hours and (possibly) accept money for legal advice.”
Investigators say (the man) opened an office on St. Johns Avenue, two blocks from the Palatka Police Department, where he “began accepting money for legal advice and to represent clients.”
“One victim was identified along with another possible victim. However, there could be more possible victims,” the sheriff’s office says.
The suspect was released on a $2,500 bond. He lives in Satsuma, about 11 miles south of Palatka, records show.
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