October 29, 2005
Attorney Charged with Forging Bankruptcy Judge's Signature
When I teach Professional Responsibility, one of the topics I don't cover is forging the signature of a judge, on the supposition that students know that's not proper. Despite the obvious stupidity of even thinking about trying such a thing, John Eleazarian, an attorney in Fresno, California, was charged by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of California with forging the judge's signature to help a client get back her car that was wrongly repossessed when she was in bankruptcy. According to the USAO press release (here):
ELEAZARIAN was representing a bankruptcy client whose car had been improperly repossessed by the creditor. Despite repeated requests by the debtor to get her car back, the defendant failed to act for over seven months. In response to the repeated requests, the defendant provided the debtor with a forged order, purportedly signed by United States Bankruptcy Judge W. Richard Lee, stating that the creditor had improperly taken the debtor's vehicle, and that the debtor was entitled to sanctions in the amount of $20,000.
Maybe I should adjust my syllabus next semester to include this topic. (ph)
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