White-Collar Crime

Similar Name Helped Non-Lawyer Open Practice Using Actual Lawyer's Bar Number, Officials Say

Thomas J. Lyon isn’t a lawyer. But Thomas J. Lyons is.

And their almost identical names made it easy for Lyon allegedly to open a Wisconsin law office and appear in court under the shelter of Lyons’ actual Wisconsin bar number, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Although admitted in Wisconsin, Lyons actually works in Minnesota and only found out about the alleged impersonation when bar officials in Wisconsin called him to try to figure out what was going on.

Lyon was charged last week with with practicing law without a license, theft and forgery. He is on probation in New York, but was permitted to move to Wisconsin and continue his probation there, the newspaper reports.

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Disbarred Lawyer Pleads Guilty to Assuming ID of Different Attorney”

ABAJournal.com: “Lawyer Is Puzzled Why Alleged Scammer Used His Name and Bar Number”

ABAJournal.com: “Using Fake Bar Number, ‘Lawyer’ Handled 20 Civil Matters, Newspaper Reports”

ABAJournal.com: “Fake Lawyer Taught Real CLE Class”

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