Thomson Reuters; May 6, 2013
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The New York attorney general’s office on Monday unsealed an indictment against a man who allegedly posed as an attorney and bilked clients out of tens of thousands of dollars.
Michael Schorr, 72, was accused in a 35-count indictment filed in Manhattan Supreme Court of charges including grand larceny, scheme to defraud and practicing as an attorney without being admitted to the state bar or registering.
He was arraigned Monday before Acting Supreme Court Justice Charles Solomon and was held without bail, prosecutors said in a press release. An attorney representing Schorr could not be immediately reached for comment.
Prosecutors said Schorr solicited and represented clients in proceedings in federal immigration court and other courts in New York and New Jersey. He forged court documents saying he was a licensed attorney in good standing, and used registration numbers belonging to other attorneys, prosecutors said.
Schorr collected tens of thousands of dollars in fees for his work, prosecutors said. But as a result of his poor legal advice, many of the cases in which he appeared as counsel will have to be reopened, according to the indictment.
“By repeatedly making false representations to judges about his status and soliciting clients into believing he could help them during their critical immigration proceedings, this man was committing a brazen fraud while jeopardizing the livelihoods of his victims during a particularly vulnerable point,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement.
Schorr faces up to seven years in prison if he is convicted, according to the New York attorney general’s office.