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Ex-Attorney Sentenced for Theft and Fraud

Los Angeles man pleads guilty to identity heists. The deal allows him to avoid state prison.

August 19, 2003|Akilah Johnson | Times Staff Writer

Within days of beginning a federal prison sentence, a former Los Angeles attorney pleaded guilty in state court Monday to multiple counts of identity theft and fraud.

Lloyd Segal, 55, was sentenced to more than two years in prison by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge David Horwitz.

The sentence is to be served in a federal prison at the same time as his sentence in a related federal case.

In June, Segal was ordered to serve 18 months for filing false bankruptcy petitions. Weeks later, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office charged Segal with theft by false pretense and grand theft by access card, punishable by as much as nine years in prison.

He pleaded to five of the 10 counts, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Elizabeth Munisoglu.

Segal's attorney, Roger Diamond, said his client had taken the deal because it will keep the former bankruptcy attorney out of state prison.

"My general inclination is to fight every case," Diamond said. But "in order to fight this case he would be transported to County Jail.... You don't want to be in the Los Angeles County Jail."

Using two strangers' Social Security numbers, Segal rented a home in Bel-Air and a condo in Marina Del Rey, though he never paid rent on the properties. When his landlords tried to evict him, Segal filed for bankruptcy, using the same stolen identities, which were also used to obtain credit cards, prosecutors said.

His victims, a man in Pennsylvania and a woman in Texas, "had no clue," Munisoglu said.

Prosecutors said Segal's license to practice law was suspended last year.

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