Former Lawyer Indicted for Obstruction of Justice and Wire Fraud
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 12, 2012|
ALBANY, NY—United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian and acting Special Agent in Charge George Piro of the Albany Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation announce that a federal grand jury in Albany returned an indictment today charging David A. Ehrlich, 38, of Cohoes, with obstruction of justice and wire fraud in connection with the practice of law. Ehrlich is charged with obstructing justice in United States v. Joseph P. Brown, a criminal appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (count one) and engaging in a scheme to defraud clients of money by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises (count two). The indictment alleges that:
- Ehrlich was hired to represent Brown in connection with the appeal but failed to file an appellate brief, leading to the appeal being dismissed. Ehrlich prepared and provided to the spouse of Joseph P. Brown a brief Ehrlich falsely represented had been filed and later prepared and caused to be provided to Brown’s spouse a document Ehrlich falsely represented to be the written decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit denying Brown’s appeal. In truth, there was no such decision.
- Ehrlich made materially false and fraudulent representations to clients regarding legal services he claimed to have performed on their behalf and created documents he falsely represented to be the decision and judgment of a court in order to make it appear that he had taken action on behalf of clients when he had not done so.
An indictment is merely an accusation, and Ehrlich is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Ehrlich faces a maximum sentence of up to 10 years’ imprisonment on count one and up to 20 years’ imprisonment on count two, fines of up to $250,000 on each count, and forfeiture of the proceeds of the fraud. Ehrlich’s initial appearance and arraignment on the indictment have not yet been scheduled.
On April 22, 2010, Ehrlich was disbarred in New York by the Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Department.
The investigation that led to this indictment was conducted by the Albany Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.