Monday, February 19, 2024

Man charged with impersonating lawyer, stealing nearly $40K from several victims

By Lydian Kennin and Kelli Cook

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A Memphis man has been arrested and charged after he allegedly tricked several victims into believing he was a lawyer and stole nearly $40,000 in funds that were meant to help them.

The suspect, 59-year-old Glenis Campbell, was arrested Thursday on three active warrants for impersonating a licensed professional and several counts of property theft.

In October of 2023, a Memphis man came forward and told police that he hired Campbell to represent him for a criminal case out of Mississippi. The victim told police he met Campbell through a mutual friend and paid $3,240 for Campbell to represent him.

As the court case neared, however, the victim said Campbell suddenly stopped all contact. Out of suspicion, the victim checked the Mississippi Bar’s webpage, where he discovered Campbell was not listed.

Two days after that victim called police, Campbell was once again under law enforcement’s radar when his neighbors, a married couple, came forward and told Shelby County detectives that Campbell had been swindling them since December of 2021.

They said that someone introduced them to Campbell saying he was an attorney who would be able to help them with a “workman’s comp” case they were looking to imitate.

The couple said they hired Campbell to represent them as their civil attorney and paid him approximately $28,000 over almost two years for various court costs and procedures.

The couple began asking for receipts and paperwork from the court processes, but Campbell could not provide them, according to the arrest affidavit. It was then that the victims became suspicious of Campbell’s legitimacy as a licensed attorney and began researching him.

Through their digging, they learned Campbell did not practice law in Tennessee and had posed as an attorney to others.

Detectives with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office had previously launched an investigation into Campbell’s alleged scams in July of 2022.

In that case, officials say Campbell tricked two Shelby County sisters into believing he was a lawyer and would be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit after their mother’s passing.

A woman came forward and told detectives that she and her sister were scammed out of approximately $7,600 by Campbell over eight months while under the impression that he was handling their mother’s wrongful death suit.

She said she met Campbell through the recommendation of a family member.

Campbell allegedly asked for funds to cover court costs, legal fees, $600 for a medical examiner’s report, $900 for a “formal report,” and other expenses.

The victims attempted to settle the incident outside of the courtroom, however, Campbell allegedly went MIA and never refunded their money.

Detectives saw Campbell was previously charged with impersonating a lawyer in 2008.

He was arrested and charged on Thursday and is set to appear in court Friday morning.

Daniel Irwin with the Better Business Bureau says it’s important to do your due diligence when retaining an attorney.

" A red flag would be if you don’t see them on the bar association or you can’t find them by several different spellings of their names with the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility that may be a huge red flag,” said Irwin.

“Check reviews, or check with other attorneys or others in the legal profession. You just want to make sure that not only you are hiring a licensed attorney but a competent attorney,” said Irwin.

Irwin also says to be wary of any attorney that looks to be paid in cash only or use of Cash App.

He says most attorneys will offer multiple options for payment including credit card.

There is no bond information at this time.

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Man charged with impersonating lawyer, stealing nearly $40K from several victims

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