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Fake lawyer convicted of scamming immigrants

Michael Schorr, 72, a downstate man who conned judges and stole from unsuspecting clients by posing as a licensed attorney, has pleaded guilty to third-degree grand larceny in New York County Supreme Court.

According to Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, Schorr defrauded more than seven victims out of more than $15,000 in legal fees during a four-year period. Schorr faces up to seven years in prison when he is sentenced Feb. 25 by Justice Charles H. Soloman.

“Phony lawyers preying on our unsuspecting immigrants — people who are in desperate need of sound legal advice — and stealing their hard earned money are criminals,” Schneiderman said. “By repeatedly making false representations to judges about his status and soliciting clients into believing he could help them at their immigration proceedings, this man scammed his clients and jeopardized their livelihoods at a particularly vulnerable point.”

Schorr appeared on multiple occasions in the federal immigration and other courts pretending to be a lawyer and representing his “clients” in removal and criminal proceedings. In one instance, when a federal judge told Schorr there was no record of him being a registered attorney, Schorr said he had been licensed as an attorney in New York since 1967.

Schorr is a second-felony offender, having previously been convicted of attempted identity theft in New York County in 2007.