The field of law is no stranger to jokes or criticism. Many lawyers are jokingly referred to as ambulance chasers or paper pushers, but these lawyers had crimes that we found particularly offensive. From scamming an elderly woman, billing a client for their affair to prostituting their barely-teenage daughter, these lawyers lowered the bar in legal ethics.
10. Transformed His Law Practice Into A Criminal Emporium
Paul Bergin is his name and he’s the guy who Tom Hagen wishes he could be. It is surprising a movie hasn’t been made about him as well. Well, yet. Hollywood’s penchant for idolizing criminal kingpins will probably come round to this one sooner or later. Bergrin, who is also a former federal prosecutor and Army major, was convicted of using his former law office in Newark as a front for a Mafia-like racketeering enterprise marked by plotting the murders of witnesses against his clients. He was also charged with witness tampering, promoting prostitution and trafficking illegal drugs. After an eight-week trial, the badass lawyer was found guilty of all 23 counts brought against him.
9. Will Do Lawyer Stuff for Peep Show
Being a criminal-defense attorney often involves spending a lot of time in prison, as the people who pay your bills happen to spend most of their free time there. This dude decided the prison was decidedly lacking in boobs, however, and so he set up a system in which he would bring female inmates prescription drugs, smokes, and legal help in exchange for getting to see the goods (read: breasts) from the other side of the glass partition. Inmates also promised him sex when they were released.
8.Blackmailed clients, Forged employer’s signature, among other things
A lawyer was found to be guilty of blackmail, when a client she had taken money from asked for his money back because the deal fell through. She threatened him with telling his employers he was gay if he asked for his money back, and it’s really not relevant if that was true. She was also found guilty of forging her employer’s signature to apply for a loan, and when called for trial went practicing in an other country under a different name.
7. Stole more than $408,000 from a 83-year-old woman
William Goetz was hired to represent 83 year-old Sylvia Stotler in the sale of her farm. For “tax payments” Goetz instructed Stotler to write two checks in his name for a total value of $408,000. Stotler was suspicious when multiple IRS letters poured in asking her to pay the taxes she had already written taxes for. Goetz was never even licensed to practice in Cinnicinati, and had been disbarred by the North Dakota Bar since 1991.
6. Had an affair with his client- then billed her hourly for his time
Thomas Lowe was a Minessota-based family law attorneys who was hired by a female friend to represent her in her divorce case. After he complimented her on her appearance, he made inquiries in to her sex life and the two began regularly meeting up to have sex. After Lowe stopped the tryst to save his marriage the woman tried to kill herself, which started the investigation.
5. Convinced his mentally ill client to make him the sole beneficiary in her will
What originally begin as a probono case on Wan’s charity, soon turned in to a way to quickly line his pockets. After arranging for the sale of his client’s home for more than $773,000 James Wan convinced his client her house was worth no more than $400,000 and she agreed to let him keep the remainder. Wan also claimed his client gave him Power of Attorney, and made him the sole beneficiary of her will instead of her four children.
4. Offered to lower his fees in exchange for sex with client’s 13 and 18-year-old
Jeremy Oliver was a Oklahoma attorney who represented a single mother in a case where she was accused of being a fugitive from justice. Jeremy texted his client and offered $1,000 off for nude photos and/or sex with the 18 year old and an extra $500 off for the 13 year old. A search of Jeremy’s home after he was arrested revealed several hundred other photos of nude girls, leading authorities to believe there have been many victims.
3. Tampered with evidence and let a innocent man serve 25 years in prison for wife’s murder
Michael Morton was convicted for the 1986 murder of his wife, but recent DNA evidence helped acquit him in 2011. The prosecuting attorney Ken Anderson hid pivotal evidence from the case- such as the couple’s three year old testimony who witnessed the murder who told authorities his father did not kill his mom. Neighbors also saw another man enter and exit the house but Anderson did not allow the evidence to go to trial.
2. Prostituted and filmed pornographic material of her 14-Year-Old
Lisa Biron, 43, took her 14-year-old girl to Canada where she forced her to have sex on camera. Biron forced the teenager to have sex with two different men on multiple occasions. Biron also allegedly had a video taped on her smartphone depicting her performing oral sex with the girl. Biron’s scheme was unraveled when Brandon Ore, a previous roommate who had had sex with both Biron and her daughter, learned she was only 14 and that Biron was her mother, not a roommate. FBI investigation found more videos and child pornography on her personal computer, including a video of Biron’s daughter losing her virginity taken as a “momento” of her first time. In a ironic twist, Biron lists “The Bible” as her favorite book and is an active part of the Christian Anti-Gay movement.
1. Running Prostitution Ring
Shady lawyer Lou Posner was disbarred in 2010 after pleading guilty to running hooker ring out of strip joint. The notorious no-holds-barred strip club was shuttered in July 2008, following a raid that came months after a member sued the club when he took a stripper’s heel to the eye during a bump-and-grind gone bad. Posner, who was listed on a club website as “Lap Dance Lou,” was sentenced to five years probation and ordered to perform 60 hours of community service as part of his guilty plea. As part of the deal, Posner also admitted to lying that New York Police Department who tried to shake him down as the club got busted. But charges against his wife were dropped.