Three Detroit area attorneys are now charged as criminals. They’re accused of using the very court system they swore to serve, as a means to commit fraud. An unknown number of people in Calhoun and Kalamazoo counties have been their victims. No one knows yet how many area residents are involved.

The Detroit News reports the three attorneys with the Fishman Group in Bloomfield Hills are charged with fraudulently using the state’s courts to steal money from hundreds of unsuspecting Michigan residents. Best estimates so far figure the losses at around $1 million. But it is very early in the investigative process and the figure could go much higher.  Investigators don’t believe any court employees are involved in the scam.

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According to the report in the News, the attorneys schemed to claim people were overdue paying on accounts the attorneys represented. They then lied to courts claiming the people had been served legal notice and were unresponsive. Based on that false legal representation, courts allowed the attorneys to seize money from wages, tax returns, and even Friend of the Court accounts.  And it was all a scam.

While the charges are filed against the attorneys in the Flint area, investigators have identified hundreds of victims throughout Michigan including Calhoun and Kalamazoo counties. And the attorneys have offices in Florida and Colorado. Investigators are looking into whether people in those states were also victimized in a similar fashion.

Anyone who thinks they may have been victimized by the Fishman Group in Bloomfield Township of Oakland county is advised to contact their local county Prosecuting Attorney’s office to review their concerns.

The attorneys involved are all facing felony charges from the scam which could lead to long prison terms.

Genessee County Prosecuting Attorney David Leyton is posting comments on his official Facebook page expressing disgust over the case. “It saddens me that individuals in my chosen profession would use their positions as lawyers to victimize some of the most vulnerable in our society. They put a dagger into the sacred constitutional right of due process and now they will be held accountable under the very law and in a court of law which they had routinely defrauded for their own financial gain.”

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