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Sentencing judge sees no ‘crime of the century’ in lawyer’s conviction for inflated work history

Posted Mar 28, 2013 10:06 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A New York lawyer accused of using faked documents to inflate her work history avoided a jail sentence when she was sentenced for forgery on Wednesday.

Prosecutors had sought a sentence of 1½ to 4½ years in prison for Soma Sengupta, the New York Times reports. Judge Thomas Farber of Manhattan instead sentenced Sengupta to five years of probation and fined her $5,000.

Farber said he was concerned about Sengupta’s lack of remorse, but said this was “not the crime of the century,” the story says.

Sengupta was accused of using forged reference letters, a birth certificate and college transcripts to bolster her resume claims, according to the Times. She had claimed experience as a gang crimes prosecutor in Manhattan and as a staff lawyer for the Legal Aid Society of New York. She was actually a paralegal with the prosecutors’ office and an unpaid volunteer with Legal Aid, according to past coverage of the case.

Sengupta used the inflated work claims to obtain a job with a U.K. law firm. The truth was discovered when a suspicious clerk at the firm questioned Sengupta’s claim that she was 29 years old; she was actually in her 40s at the time.

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