Man charged with acting as attorney and stealing thousands
SALEM, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts man has been charged with offering legal services he was not qualified to provide and larceny for stealing money from people seeking legal help.
Prosecutors say Homayoun Maali collected thousands of dollars from people for a range of legal issues including bankruptcy, foreclosure and immigration. He kept funds that victims believed would be used to hire attorneys, secure loan modifications or make court payments.
The Eagle-Tribune reports that the 64-year-old Lawrence man asked a judge Wednesday for more time to gather funds for an attorney. Maali says he doesn’t want a court-appointed lawyer.
Maali filed a $1 million counterclaim disputing the assertions against him and arguing he was targeted because he is from the Middle East. The counterclaim was dismissed. Maali is a naturalized citizen originally from Iran.
Information from: Eagle Tribune (North Andover, Mass.), http://www.eagletribune.com