Fake lawyer cons woman and business partners out of $8,000, victim says

MARION, Ark. — A Mid-South woman and her business partner said they were conned by a fake lawyer. They’re now warning others, so they don’t become the next victim.

The woman said she became suspicious after the supposed ‘lawyer’ started lying about their court cases and asking for money orders.

After vetting him out, she said she found he had a lengthy criminal history and no documentation that he is a licensed lawyer.

FOX13 can’t identify the suspect because there is no legal documentation tying him to this current case.

“It’s absolutely ludicrous that he’s out here preying on people,” Tora Griffin of Marion, Ark. said.

When Griffin met a man at a family funeral who said he was an attorney, she said she had no reason to think he wasn’t telling the truth.

“He made it seem like he was only charging us for the filing fee for the acquired titles, and we had several properties that needed acquired titles,” she said.

Griffin and her business partner run a real estate business. She said the supposed ‘lawyer’ told the pair he could acquire titles for them, and they would only have to pay court fees.

“It’s like anything dealing with the law he makes you feel like he can deal with it for you, when he really can’t,” she said.

Griffin said her business partner paid the man $8,000 in total.

They became suspicious when the man started lying about their court dates.

“When he told us we were supposed to go to court on April 4 but court was closed, I called him, and I started questioning him about it,” Griffin said.

Griffin said the man has offered multiple legal services for other members of her family which they all paid him to do, but the results have always been fishy.

Daniel Irwin with the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South said it’s not uncommon for someone to pretend to be someone with a professional title.

“Just because someone tells you they are an attorney doesn’t mean they are,” Irwin said. “You need to vet them out.”

“If you feel like you’re dealing with someone who is not a licensed attorney or is claiming to be one, you should really contact the state attorney general’s office,” Irwin said.

As for Griffin, she hopes her story will inspire others to be more careful so they don’t become the next victim.

“It’s crazy he’s out here praying on individuals that actually need help and already live in poverty. You’re out here taking money that they have,” she said.

The BBB said you can go to the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility to check if someone has an active attorney license in Tennessee. You can also contact the State Bar Association and ask for that information.