Sunday, March 27, 2016

Fake lawyer helped clients for 10 years, made partner at firm, led county bar association

Fake lawyer helped clients for 10 years, made partner at firm, led county bar association

Kimberly Kitchen
Kimberly Kitchen, 46, of James Creek, center, leaves the Huntingdon County Courthouse, in Huntingdon, Pa., with her husband, Edward, and her lawyer, Caroline Roberto, after being found guilty of posing as an attorney for nearly a decade. (Shelly Dietz/The Daily News via AP)
The Associated Press By The Associated Press The Associated Press
on March 25, 2016 at 1:15 PM, updated March 25, 2016 at 3:22 PM


"HUNTINGDON, Pa. (AP) — A former president of a county bar association has been convicted of using forged documents to pose as an estate lawyer for a decade even though she didn't have a law license.
Kimberly Kitchen was convicted Thursday on charges of forgery, unauthorized practice of law and felony records tampering in Huntingdon County.
Kitchen fooled BMZ Law, a Huntingdon firm, by forging a law license, bar exam results, an email showing she attended Duquesne University law school and a check for a state attorney registration fee, prosecutors said.
The James Creek resident handled estate planning for more than 30 clients despite never attending law school, and she even served as president of the county bar association for a time. She made partner at BMZ before the fraud was discovered.
The judge on the case was brought in from another county, and the state attorney general, not county prosecutors, handled the case because Kitchen had been a fixture in the county courthouse for years.
BMZ officials testified at her two-day trial but haven't commented publicly since issuing a statement in December 2014, when the Huntingdon Daily News first reported that Kitchen was being investigated. The firm's voicemail said its offices were closed for Good Friday."

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