Merced County man posing as attorney arrested for fraud

A man is accused of fraud after pretending to be a lawyer and representing several families at the Merced County Courthouse.
MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) -- A man is accused of fraud after pretending to be a lawyer and representing several families at the Merced County Courthouse.

Authorities say Richard Gilpatrick went to the courthouse on November 10 to represent a "client."

Court staff quickly realized that Gilpatrick was not a licensed attorney.

The judge asked for his bar code, and when they looked it up, they found Gilpatrick was using the credentials of a lawyer who had died.

"This guy went so far as to open up offices around the county as a lawyer. We're looking for other victims of this guy. We want to bring justice to those people, the families he represented, we want to bring justice to those people," said Daryl Allen with the Merced County Sheriff's Office.

Authorities say this is not the first time Gilpatrick has tried something like this. They say he was on probation just a few years ago for claiming to be an insurance agent.

He was taken into custody Wednesday at the Fresno VA's hospital.

If anyone believes they were in contact with Gilpatrick, they are asked to contact the Merced County Sheriff's Office.

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