Legal Ethics

Disbarred Lawyer Pleads Guilty to Assuming ID of Different Attorney


A disbarred lawyer living in Florida pleaded guilty Tuesday to identity theft for assuming the identity of a retired New York lawyer.

John Mark Marino, 70, was named R. Mark Hunter when he lost his law license in Pennsylvania, according to stories in Carolina Live and GoUpstate.com. Hunter changed his name to John Mark Marino in 2005, the name of a retired New York lawyer, and used Marino’s bar number to substantiate the false identity, according to U.S. Attorney William Nettles, who prosecuted Marino in Spartanburg, S.C.

Prosecutors say Marino tried to pass himself off as a lawyer when he tried to sell an investment to an undercover FBI agent.

According to an August 2000 article in the Orlando Sentinel (sub. req.), Hunter was sentenced that month to 37 months in prison on charges that he and a co-conspirator scammed investors out of $400,000 by promising to obtain loans for business ventures. The story says Hunter pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud and objected when the judge refused to sentence him to time served.

He had spent four years in a Swiss prison after being arrested on a U.S. fraud warrant. Swiss officials didn’t immediately return Hunter because they wanted to investigate whether he was involved in any crimes in that country, the story says. There were no charges filed overseas.

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