CHICAGO (CBS) – The Cook County Sheriff’s office has caught someone pretending to be an attorney in real courtrooms – for the second time in six weeks.
This week, Darlene White-Yarber, 50, was charged with false impersonation of a lawyer.
Sheriff’s investigators found she was a real attorney at one time, but she was disbarred in 1995 after records show she was arrested for stealing funds from her law firm and its clients. But 16 years later, she was still acting as an attorney, according to te3h sheriff’s office.
Yarber was arrested Monday after a prosecutor became suspicious of her behavior during a traffic case at the Bridgeview Courthouse, and the judge asked her for her attorney identification card. When she didn’t have one, the judge had her arrested on contempt of court.
Her bond was set at $150,000.
Last month, the sheriff’s caught another man pretending to be a lawyer. But Tahir Malik wasn’t a disbarred attorney like Yarber – he was a convicted burglar who had no legal training at all.
Yet, Malik was representing clients in criminal and traffic cases, in foreclosures and before administrative bodies. Sheriff Tom Dart said his investigators determined that Malik learned about the law not from law school, but from getting in criminal trouble.
Dart said Malik was charging $500 to $4,500 per case. But Malik’s father told CBS 2’s Mike Parker last month that his son was doing no harm, but rather helping people who needed counseling and charging only $5 or $10.