Phony legal firm cheats public, embarrasses state agencies

Phony legal firm cheats public, embarrasses state agencies

United Press International

Tacoma, Wash – A convict who set up his own legal firm is the focus of anger for people who paid for services never rendered, and a source of embarrassment for several government agencies, it was reported Thursday.

Richard Ben-Neth, the owner of “Attorneys’ Legal Services, Inc.,” promised help for many legal problems, and his business became so successful that he prepared to open branches in Bellevue, Bellingham and Vancouver, Wash., according to a copyright story in the Seattle Times.

But there was one problem – Ben-Neth was not an attorney, but a paroled convict who once served time for theft and check fraud.

Now, several angry people who paid Ben-Neth for his services are out thousands of dollars, and the State Department of Corrections, the Pierce County prosecutor’s office and the state bar association are trying to explain what happened.

“Ben-Neth knew just enough to make the state chase their tails and look like a bunch of fools,” said Joyce Toso, a former military security officer from Spanaway who lost almost $6,000 that she gave to Ben-Neth in trust. “He’s sly. He’s dangerous.”

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