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Sham Lawyer Scam Cost Clients $6 M

Posted Aug 24, 2007 11:11 AM CDT
By Martha Neil

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While a Long Island attorney was away from his law office having surgery and recuperating, his part-time paralegal was apparently busy--very busy.

Mohammed Rafikian, 41, pretended to be the attorney for whom he worked, and scammed clients out of $6 million by persuading them to fund phony investments, reports the New York Post. Rafikian was convicted by a jury yesterday of grand larceny, scheming to defraud, criminal impersonation and practicing as an attorney at law without being admitted to the bar, and is likely to face significant prison time when he is sentenced.

He worked for Marcus & Associates, but the article doesn't identify the lawyer by name.

Those persuaded by Rafikian to "invest" included, among others, a doctor, a dentist and one of his own friends, the Post says. Individual clients lost between $63,000 and $3.2 million, according to the Associated Press.

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