'Fake' lawyer busted, DA says

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A 42-year-old man who allegedly pretended to be a lawyer was indicted Tuesday in Manhattan for practicing law without a license and filing false documents while unlawfully representing a criminal defendant.

Terence Kindlon Jr., who has a father by the same name who really is a criminal defense attorney in Albany - responded to a Craigslist ad for housing and struck a deal with a father and son to live rent free while they paid him $150 a day to represent them on a civil matter, said a source in the Manhattan District Attorney's office.

Kindlon allegedly also filed documents to defend a client in New York County Criminal Court who was charged with criminal mischief.

Kindlon was previously considered eligible to participate in the Manhattan Mental Health Court program, but allegedly fabricated documents required to prove he had attended a qualifying meeting for the program.

His attorney, Stacey Richman, said it was a tragedy that the DA "is not seeing this in the context of the organic mental illness that the court has previously reviewed and validated." The court, she said, "had earlier verified that he was following his treatment plan. It is disturbing that they are releasing information about a person who should be covered by HIPAA (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)."

The ADA in charge of the case, Dan Cort, said Kindlon "has shown the utmost in contempt of the courts and of the law by pretending to be a lawyer in the same courthouse where he had two open felony cases," according to the DA's office.

Kindlon attended Benjamin N. Cardozo Law School for more than two years, and also passed the bar, said Richman. He was being held Tuesday on $300,000 bond or $150,000 cash.

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