Stephen G. Dickerman was a lawyer for more than 40 years, but he had not renewed his law license since 2008, according to The New York Times.
Someone used his attorney registration number to open an office in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn and charge $400 an hour to clients for legal advice.
Law officials are not even sure who the fake Dickerman is. The imposter even tried his hand in federal court in 2012. He appeared at the United States courthouse in Brooklyn.
He represented clients in 12 federal lawsuits, but this week he was arraigned on charges of making fraudulent statements and identity theft.
“He did not appear, necessarily, to be a good lawyer; he didn’t appear to be a non-lawyer,” said David S. Stone of Stone & Magnanini.
During the arraignment, the imposter continued to claim he was Dickerman. Lan Nguyen, a prosecutor, said that the man’s fiance did not even know his true identity.
Court documents claim that the scam began in 2009 when the imposter walked into the Office of Court Administration to renew Dickerman’s registration to practice the law. The home and business addresses were changed and he tried to change his first name to Shlomo due to religious reasons.
The imposter wanted to practice law in the Eastern District of New York, which includes Queens, Brooklyn and Long Island.
During the arraignment, the charges were read by the judge, who said that the first and last name were not known. The lawyer for the defendant, Jan A. Rostal, said, “I can clarify that the name of my client is Stephen G. Dickerman.”
When the imposter was arrested he was found with a driver’s license from New York with the name Steven H. Dickman on it. That man “appears to be a disbarred attorney with a criminal history,” according to the prosecutor.
The criminal history includes two convictions on charges of grand larceny.
The judge presiding over the arraignment denied bail for the imposter.