Prosecutors: Fake attorney scammed inmates and their families

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A man is under arrest in Brooklyn after he allegedly pretended to be a lawyer, promising prisoners he could help them get their guilty verdicts overturned.

Authorities maintain a bogus law firm, Waymore Post-Conviction, created a simple ad on Facebook but concocted a very complicated scam.

"He was a charlatan," said Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, talking about Kenneth Moore, who he says raked in more than $100,000 since 2012 in what Gonzalez calls a "robust" fake business.

The 53-year-old was named in a 75-count indictment..charged with, among other things, larceny.

Moore allegedly preyed on the hopes and fears of at least 18 inmates and their families, posing as an attorney and promising the men, who are all serving long sentences, that he would file post conviction motions on their behalf to set aside their verdicts.

"Because he had worked in the past as a clerk and paralegal, he kind of spoke the legal jingle and so he could fool people and did for a long time," said Gonzalez.

His fee was up to $15,000 but before he got started, authorities say inmates' families had to sign a contract and fork over 80 percent of the payment.

Once Moore got the money, they say he disappeared. Frustrated victims even posted about it on Yelp.

"When he was collecting he was brazen, visited people in jail and he solicited business by writing to people in jail and offer them false hope," said Gonzalez.

In 2011 Moore moved into a building in Bushwick and used it as his company base. Four of the 18 cases are from the New York area. Other victims are in North Carolina, Kansas, Virginia. Officials are convinced more are out there, and want to hear from them.

Gonzalez finds this case particularly egregious given what a specialized unit in his office is focused on, reviewing wrongful conviction claims.

He says in one case, the Innocence Project met with an inmate but Moore convinced him, he would do a better job.

"That person could have gotten free representation from Innocence Project and possibly get his case vindicated but instead they went with him and he did nothing and that person still sits in jail," said Gonzalez.

Moore was held on $300,000 bail and faces a judge again May 16th.

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