The Volokh Conspiracy

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Lawyer Pleads Guilty to Repeatedly Forging Court Orders and Judgments


From a Justice Department press release last month (UPDATE: see the plea agreement for more details):

Andrew Gavin Wynne, 35, pleaded guilty in front of U.S. District Judge Sarah E. Pitlyk to five felony counts of identity theft.

Wynne admitted that while representing at least 30 clients, he created fictitious documents with forged signatures of judicial officers in St. Louis and St. Louis and St. Charles counties. Included among those were bogus court orders, judgments and emails authored by at least ten separate judges, Wynne's plea agreement says, some of which purportedly awarded money to his clients.

In one example in the plea agreement, Wynne sent an email to a client on Feb. 28, 2020 that included a fictitious judgment and decree of dissolution with a forged judge's signature. That divorce decree said Wynne's client's marriage was dissolved and the parties would have joint legal and physical custody of the minor children. The decree also said the client was owed $900 per month child support, $5,000, a vehicle and other assets.

On July 21, 2020, Wynne emailed another client an order with a forged judge's signature that claimed $20,200 in payments were owed to that client.

On both occasions, Wynne told his clients not to discuss the documents that he'd sent….

On Oct. 27, 2021, the Missouri Supreme Court suspended Wynne's law license after the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel said there was probable cause to believe he posed "a substantial threat of irreparable harm to the public" due to misconduct….

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Derek Wiseman and Kyle Bateman are prosecuting the case.

Not related to the Internet takedown / forged court order scams that I wrote about (see Part II of my Shenanigans: Internet Takedown Edition), but I thought people would find it interesting for other reasons.