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Legal Daily News Feature

Convicted Bogus Attorney Sentenced Extra Two Years By Christine Cristiano After completing a seven year sentence for working as an attorney under false pretences, United States District Judge David O. Carter has sentenced a Newport Beach man to an additional two year prison sentence for committing the same crime and violating the terms of his release. According to officials, the additional two year sentence is the maximum allowed under the law.

08/25/09 Shortly after his release from prison, Harold Goldstein, 64, posed as an attorney when he posted an ad on Craigslist offering legal services and claimed that he was a semi-retired lawyer seeking a partner for in-court legal work. Goldstein also solicited other attorneys to work for him. On June 1, the FBI was tipped off by a recent law school graduate that had made contact with Goldstein. After the FBI located Goldstein’s ad on Craigslist offering clients legal counsel, two FBI agents posed as interested candidates and answered Goldstein’s ad. Unbeknownst to Goldstein, the agents recorded Goldstein describing himself as a licensed attorney from Louisiana practising in federal court.

Against the advice of his own lawyer, Goldstein took the stand at his hearing, and denied he had violated his release terms. On May 26th, Judge Carter barred Goldstein from offering any legal services and falsely impersonating an attorney. In his own defence, Goldstein commented that “everybody lies. I did not provide legal services. I was just talking about it.” In 2003, Goldstein was convicted and sentenced to seven years in federal prison for impersonating an attorney when he represented clients in court. Goldstein was also convicted of mail fraud after he sent letters of solicitations to prison inmates.

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Convicted Bogus Attorney Sentenced Extra Two Years