White-Collar Crime

Disbarred Lawyer Takes Plea in Attorney ID-Theft Case, Gets a Year in Prison Followed By Probation

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A now-disbarred Georgia lawyer accused of impersonating another attorney and practicing in that lawyer’s name after his own license to practice was suspended took a plea Wednesday.

Elliott J. Vogt, 34, who was also accused of forging legal papers while ineptly representing dozens of clients, pleaded guilty to theft by conversion, forgery and identity-fraud charges in Muscogee County Superior Court, reports the Columbus Ledger Enquirer.

He was sentenced to a year in prison followed by nine years of probation. He must also pay $15,000 in restitution for legal fees he received, in addition to another $25,000 restitution he has already paid.

The government reportedly had sought a five-year prison term, and Assistant District Attorney Doug Breault said Vogt “caused great suffering to the parties involved” by taking fees to do domestic relations work that he didn’t perform.

Vogt’s lawyer, Neal Callahan, argued for no prison time, saying that incarceration is simply “piling on” to the University of Alabama law graduate’s already ruined life. His client, he said, has had a pizza-making job for the last two years.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Inept Law Grad Pretended to Practice Even After Being Suspended, His Lawyer Says”

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