Fake law firm found real lawyers via Craigslist


By Victoria Basham

25 August 2016 at 09:00 BST


A fake law firm reportedly used Craigslist to find real lawyers to do their work while reeling in hundreds of clients who were near being foreclosed from their homes.

Monika Gruszewicz

The Sun-Sentinel reports that the owners of The Asset Protection Law Firm, which offered residential loan modifications and debt consolidation, face an assortment of charges including operating a law firm without license and practicing law without a license.

Hefty fees

According to the Florida Attorney General's Office, Joseph Anton Hilton, 56, and Adam Forman, 46, ‘deceived homeowners into paying hefty upfront and monthly fees for legal services not supervised or approved by licensed attorneys.’

The pair told homeowners not to pay their mortgages and ignore notices because the law firm would be dealing with their banks at a ‘higher level.’

Craigslist

The fake firm also used Craigslist to recruit legitimate lawyers, mostly novices, and their names and bar license information for corporate filings, retainer agreements with desperate homeowners and other legal documents.

Court documents were filed using the real attorneys' information to delay foreclosures and enable the Hilton and Forman to continue collecting its fees. According to the complaint, the pair would resort to tactics including threats and harassment when clients tried to stop paying the phony firm.

Arrested

Hilton and Forman have both been arrested and some of the firm’s approximately 15 employees may also be implicated in the crimes.  

 
   
 
 
 

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