Bad Lawyers

Washington Attorney Forged Judge’s Signature
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Maryann Moreno

Summary: Spokane attorney Aaron J. Kandratowicz forged a judge’s signature to eliminate payments his client owed.

A Spokane, Washington attorney has been charged with six felony charges after it was discovered that he forged a judge’s signature to benefit his client. Thirty-three-year-old Aaron J. Kandratowicz pleaded not guilty to three counts of forgery and three counts of second-degree identity theft, according to the Spokesman.

  
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Kandratowicz represented Quanah and Gwen Spencer in a civil lawsuit against the company that remodeled their home before they bought it. Quanah Spencer is also a lawyer who works as a tribal liaison for BNSF Railway and is a former spokesman for the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. Spencer, 41, was originally charged with the felony forgery charges for the forged signature of Superior Court Judge Maryann Moreno.

Spencer was arrested in January where he currently resides with his wife in Missoula, Montana. Spokane County Superior Court Judge James Triplet dismissed the charges in February when investigators realized that Kandratowicz was behind the signature.

However, the authorities believe that Spencer was still involved and are considering charging Spencer with two counts of felony forgery and two counts of second-degree identity theft. They believe that the Spencer’s were aware that the judge’s signature was fake so failure to report the crime under “the obvious motive to reclaim money, while arguably claiming plausible deniability” is a sign of their involvement.

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The Spencers sued SAS Oregon in 2015. Moreno ruled in favor of the company and dismissed the Spencers’ lawsuit. Moreno also gave the remodeling company $37,000 in attorney fees which were to be garnished from Spencer’s wages from BNSF.

The Spencers filed a police report on October 23 at the Public Safety Building, alleging that SAS Oregon’s attorneys committed identity theft by getting their bank to transfer $150 and $549.83 from their account to the attorneys’ account.



The police detective assigned the case checked but could not find the withdrawals from their bank account that they claimed were made. He then recommending they be charged with filing a false police report, a misdemeanor, “in consideration of the motive to further attempt to stop the garnishments.”

Three days later, BNSF received a faxed court order with the signature of Moreno directing them to stop garnishing Spencer’s wages “and to immediately release their funds.” By November, SAS Oregon’s attorneys called Moreno, asking why she reversed her ruling, providing her with a copy of the alleged order dated July 28.

Moreno informed the authorities that she left for vacation on July 24 and had not approved any orders on that date. The investigators located the phone number from the fax that BNSF received. They traced the number to a UPS store close to the Spencers’ home. UPS was able to provide the debit card number used for the fax, which directed investigators to the Spencers’ bank in Missoula.

Why do you think Kandratowicz is responsible? If so, why do you think he would do something as stupid as forging the signature on something that would obviously be checked on? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about attorney’s who got caught forging documents, read these articles:

Photo: spokesman.com



 

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