Bad Lawyers

Brooklyn Man Posed as Attorney to Con Inmates
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Kenneth Moore

Summary: A Brooklyn man with no legal credentials pretended to be an attorney, promising overturned convictions to inmates serving long sentences in exchange for large payments.

A New York University graduate with no legal degree posed as a lawyer to trick convicted inmates of scheme that would get him money in exchange for promises that he could shorten their sentences. Kenneth Moore, an ex-con himself, told the inmates with long sentences that he could get their terms shortened for a fee that went upwards of $15,000. Moore, of course, never actually did any legal work because he was not an attorney and knew nothing about the law.

  
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Moore was arraigned in handcuffs before the Brooklyn Supreme Court to face the 75-count indictment against him. The charges include third-degree grand larceny, unauthorized practice of a profession, and a slew of other fraud charges, according to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

Prosecutors allege that the 53-year-old offered 18 inmates across the country a chance at getting their convictions overturned and have their sentences shortened. For 16 of the victims of his scheme, Moore never filed a single motion, instead pocketing the money they or their families put up for the chance. The money ranged from $5,000 to $15,000. Moore did actually file motions in two instances with a real attorney’s forged signature.

Kenneth Moore

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Moore’s attorney, Jay Cohen, entered a not guilty plea of his behalf before Supreme Court justice Danny Chun, who ordered Moore’s bail to be set at $300,000. He will go back to court on May 16.

Moore was operating a company he named Waymore Post-Conviction, LLC between April 1, 2012 and August 31, 2016. The company had a Bushwick office at 10 Goodwin Place and a website, waymorepostconviction.com, which is now defunct. He was allegedly sending direct mail to inmates with substantial prison sentences, even up to life in prison for murder, manslaughter, and other serious crimes. He would also leave pamphlets advertising his “services” in prison libraries for the inmates to look in New York, North Carolina, Kansas, Virginia and more.



Investigators found that in one instance the out-of-state Innocence Project, a real organization that helps overturn convictions, expressed interest in an inmate’s case. Moore convinced that inmate to hire him to help get their case overturned instead of the Innocence Project.

Moore would provide a contract for his services that required the payment to be paid by 80 percent before Moore would filed the post-conviction motions. He generally charged $10,000 but would sometimes charge more, claiming he had to hire an expert witness. Moore was allegedly very attentive, maintaining contact with the inmates and their families until they reached the 80 percent mark or a full payment. Once the balances reached that point, Moore would stop contacting them and was even known to change his telephone number.

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said in a statement, “This case is especially reprehensible to me because in Brooklyn we have a robust Conviction Review Unit that takes wrongful conviction claims seriously. This defendant allegedly took advantage of that exemplary work by targeting vulnerable victims and exploiting the hope of inmates and their families that they might be released from custody.” The Unit has exonerated 23 inmates since 2014.

If Moore is convicted, the top charge alone carries a maximum seven year sentence.

Do you think this is part of the victim’s fault for not verifying Moore’s credentials? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about those who got caught posing as attorneys or judges, read these articles:

Cover Photo: newyorktimes.com

Moore Photo: barcomplaint.com



 

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