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May 28, 2012

Colfax Woman Alledgedly Misrepreseted Self as Attorney (CA. USA)

By Liz Kellar
Staff Writer

A Colfax woman arrested on suspicion of financial elder abuse also is under investigation for allegedly misrepresenting herself as an attorney to a number of Nevada County clients.
Search warrants were served last week on two residences in Placer and Sierra counties that were linked to Sarah O'Neal, 48, after a five-month investigation into allegations of unlicensed practice of law.

The investigation began after numerous complaints began to trickle into the Nevada County District Attorney's Office about O'Neal not finishing or following through on legal matters for which she was retained as an attorney, said District Attorney Cliff Newell. The complaints included allegedly unfinished divorces, botched real estate deals, failure to file civil suits within the statutory time and defective loan modifications.
A subsequent investigation revealed that O'Neal does not appear to be a licensed attorney, but allegedly has been working as one, handling civil, family law and real estate matters for several years in Nevada County.
In a parallel investigation, an Auburn victim reported in mid-April that she found at least 10 fraudulent accounts on her credit report, according to a press release from the Auburn Police Department. The victim said she did not know about the accounts, which were credit card accounts, and she did not authorize anyone to open the accounts. An investigation revealed that some of the fraudulent accounts allegedly were opened by O'Neal.

Investigators from Nevada County and Auburn Police detectives served the first search warrant in Colfax, which led the investigators to the Sierra County site, where numerous documents were seized.

O'Neal was booked on suspicion of elder abuse in Placer County, and was released on $25,000 bail. She has not yet been charged in Nevada County, Newell said.

The number of potential victims is still unknown, Newell said. Anyone who might have a complaint or pertinent information to this case was urged to contact Investigator Burget of Nevada County District Attorney's Office at 265-1716

 SOURCE:       The Union
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DISCLAIMER

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