Criminal Justice

Lawyer Who Advised Clients to Break Into Foreclosed Homes Faces Criminal Charges

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Updated: A California lawyer who made headlines by advising clients to break into their foreclosed homes to repossess them is now a defendant himself on multiple related criminal charges.

Michael T. Pines, 59, who had his law license suspended last month, is accused of stalking and harassing the new owners of a previously foreclosed home in Carlsbad and their business partner, among other charges, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Included in the eight felony and misdemeanor counts he faces are two felony counts of stalking that allege Pines violated a February temporary restraining order concerning the foreclosed home.

He is also charged with practicing law on a suspended license. At last report he was being held in lieu of $227,000 bail in the case filed in the Vista, Calif., courthouse, pending a preliminary hearing to be held on May 31.

Pines pleaded not guilty to the charges last week, reports the North County Times.

Neither article includes any comment from Pines, who reportedly plans to represent himself in the case.

Additional coverage: “Lawyer Held in Contempt for Advising Clients to Reclaim Foreclosed Home” “Discipline Case Filed Against Lawyer Who Advised Clients to Break Into Their Foreclosed Homes”

Metropolitan News-Enterprise: “Bar Court Lifts License of Break-in Lawyer Michael Pines”

San Diego Reader: “How Michael Pines Defies the Law”

Updated at 1:23 p.m. to clarify that the three people Pines is accused of stalking are new owners of a previously foreclosed home and their business partner.

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