A Brooklyn man has been arrested for allegedly stealing a lawyer's identity and posing as him in court in more than half a dozen cases.
The suspect, who calls himself "Shlomo Dickerman," filled out a court registration form in 2009 using the social security number, birthday and law school of an actual lawyer named Dickerman who had failed to renew his attorney registration in New York, a criminal complaint says.
In a section of the form allowing for a name change, the alleged lawyer impersonator wrote his name as "Shlomo G. Dickerman" and wrote down a new business and home address, the complaint says. The suspect signed the form, paid the registration fee, and when he paid the fee the following year, he submitted a letter explaining the name change, saying he had opted to go with his Hebrew name.
The suspect, also known as "Stephen G. Dickerman" or "Stephen Dickerman," posed as a lawyer in at least eight cases in the Eastern District of New York and three in the Southern District, the complaint says.
He represented an immigrant facing deportation in one Eastern District case; the court said the complaint was unclear and pointed out there was no attorney by that name authorized to practice in the district.
The alleged impostor, whose real name is unknown, petitioned to practice in Brooklyn federal court as well, saying he had a law degree from NYU.
Over the next two years, he started to meet with clients in his Brighton Beach "office" and began filing federal lawsuits on their behalf without their knowledge, the complaint says.
Two undercover FBI agents posing as potential clients visited the suspect at his cubicle-style office July 29.
The fake attorney, also known as "Stephen G. Dickerman" or "Stephen Dickerman" was sitting behind a desk and offered them a business card. He said, among other things, that he would represent one of the agents in a civil action suit for a $10,000 retainer fee, which he later reduced to $5,000, in addition to a fee of $400 per hour.