Fake attorney? Just another one of his deceptions

Let's see, which one is his fake attorney face?

Thomas J. Lyon was a 28-year-old man who pretended to be a lawyer in Wisconsin. While he was on parole from crimes in Minnesota (grand larceny, stalking and false imprisonment), he used the State Bar number of another attorney (the similarly named Thomas J. Lyons) and gathered legal clients with a web site. He bragged to his office manager that he was just like that con man Frank Abignale depicted in the movie "Catch Me if You Can."

He had his clients sign waivers saying he was acting as their "attorney-in-fact," and not their "attorney at law." An attorney-in-fact is similar to someone who is granted a "power of attorney" and does not need to have any legal training or qualifications. This fine distinction did not save him.

Mr. Lyon pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 2½ years in prison for practicing law without a license, theft, misappropriating an identity to obtain money, and forgery.

Mr. Lyon likely made some sort of deal, since court documents also said he was operating an escort service as a front for prostitution. He found prostitutes by advertising for "lingerie models." His secretary said she was also working for him as a prostitute.

Mr. Lyon apologized, and said he would become a truck driver and pastor when he gets out of jail.

- Phony lawyer sentenced to 2½ years in prison - Bogus attorney engaged in forgery, theft and bad legal advice, JSOnline>>
- Milwaukee's accused "Catch Me If You Can" fake attorney has Batavia roots, The Batavian Online News>>

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