Bad Lawyers

New Jersey Man Gets 12 Years for Fake Lawyer Scheme
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Leaford George Cameron

Summary: A Jersey man just had to be a lawyer and couldn’t learn the lesson that impersonating a lawyer is not okay.

A South Jersey man who claimed he was a lawyer will be behind bars for 12 years. Leaford George Cameron of Burlington was sentenced by a U.S. District Court in Philadelphia to 12 years in prison for running a legal scam, according to The Philly Inquirer.

  
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Cameron claimed he was an attorney, offering up his services to many unsuspecting victims. A jury saw past his excuses and found him guilty in February of mail fraud, two counts of wire fraud, and three counts of making false statements.

The 65-year-old ran his fake law firm out of his home when he was already on probation for a conviction in 2014 for impersonating an attorney. This was the third time he was caught running the same multi-state law firm scam, according to NJ.com. The cases he was involved spanned across more than just one state or even country. They came from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Jamaica and India.

Cameron was claiming to be an attorney in state and federal cases that involved matters ranging from immigration to real estate. Prosecutors allege that he affected over 100 victims and stole at least $200,000 for fake legal fees.

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Not only was Cameron claiming he was a lawyer, he was delivering bad legal advice. One victim lost their home to foreclosure. In some of the immigration cases, the victims were ordered to leave the United States. One of them was a honor student. U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain, of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, said, “The evidence presented at trial proved, beyond a reasonable doubt, that this defendant was not only a phony lawyer, but also an incompetent phony lawyer.”

McSwain added, “Lawyers take an oath to uphold and promote the rule of law, not subvert it. Far from a guardian of the law, Cameron is a crook whose fraud caused serious harm to his victims and the public’s trust in our legal institution.”



Cameron has never been an attorney so it is no surprise that his legal advice was incorrect. He called his firm either “The Law Offices of Cameron, Hamilton and Associates” or “The Law Offices of Bernstein, Cameron, Hamilton and Associates” to fool the courts and clients. He had fake law partners, business cards, letterhead and stolen attorney identification numbers from real Pennsylvania lawyers. When he filed his taxes, he called himself a “consultant” or “litigation specialist.”

He will also have three years of supervised release after his 12 years in prison are up.

Do you think prison time will change Cameron or will he go back to his scheme after prison? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about others impersonating lawyers, read these articles:

Photo: philly.com



 

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