March 19, 2005
Impersonating a Lawyer Nets 150 Month Prison Term
We hear a lot about there being too many lawyers, and impersonating one got Harold Goldstein into quite a bit of trouble. Goldstein was sentenced to a 150 month term of imprisonment for engaging in identity theft and taking the name of David Goldstein, a member of the California Bar, and soliciting clients by advertising himself as a criminal and immigration attorney. What makes Harold's conduct more audacious is the fact that he did this while on supervised release after serving a prison term for securities fraud. At least he was well-versed in the criminal law, and no doubt had a good understanding of prison issues. A press release from the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California (Santa Ana) noted the following:
At yesterday's day-long sentencing hearing, Judge Carter found that Goldstein defrauded more than 50 victims out of more than $70,000. Judge Carter enhanced Goldstein's sentence because the defendant targeted vulnerable victims, specifically, inmates in INS holding facilities awaiting deportation hearings. Judge Carter, while sentencing Goldstein to 150 months, commented that Goldstein's criminal history was the most extensive he had seen since taking the federal bench.
At least Goldstein will be able to practice his newly chosen profession with fellow inmates for the next decade. (ph)
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