August 16, 2013
Woman who pretended to be lawyer convicted of obtaining money by false pretenses
Leslee Newsome-Bridgeman, of Chesterfield County, pled guilty and was sentenced on June 21, 2013, to five years in prison, with two years suspended, for obtaining money by false pretenses. She also was ordered to repay her victims $6,000.
Ms. Newsome-Bridgeman was prosecuted in Hampton Circuit Court after the Virginia State Bar’s Standing Committee on Unauthorized Practice of Law referred the matter to the commonwealth’s attorney for the City of Hampton for unauthorized practice of law violations.
Ms. Newsome-Bridgeman pretended she was a lawyer and was authorized to represent a group of people trying to obtain legal control over their church’s property. Ms. Newsome-Bridgeman charged the group $6,000. This case is one of many that demonstrate that investigation and enforcement of UPL violations may lead, in appropriate cases, to prosecution and conviction of related felony crimes.
posted 8/16/13Updated: Aug 20, 2013