American Lawyer Charged With Forgery Over False Professional Claims Before London Court

220px-Advokat,_Engelsk_advokatdräkt,_Nordisk_familjebokGeorgetown graduate Soma Sengupta may have been undone by sheer vanity. Sengupta had secured a position practicing in London based on a series of false documents and claims of her professional and educational history. However, it was her claim to be eight years younger than she is that caught the eye of a female clerk. The clerk raised the alarm over the misrepresentation and soon discovered the application to practice in England was riddled with false documents, including a letter of recommendation signed by Professor Robert Drinan a year after his death.


Sengupta claimed in her application to a British law firm to be an honor graduate who worked as a prosecutor with the Manhattan District Attorney and Legal Aid Society. It resulted in a rare occasion of being sworn in at the Middle Temple Hall where some of the greatest barristers have stood since 1602, including Sir William Blackstone.

Her application claim to be 29 caught the eye of a clerk. She is in her late 40s. Had she simply shaved off a couple years, she might still be practicing as a barrister. She was just 90 days away from being qualified as a full fledged barrister. Instead, the carefully constructed false record came undone. Born in India, Sengupta did in fact graduate from Georgetown but that was one of the few true statements in these papers. Ironically, to secure a prior position, she represented herself as not graduating from Georgetown but quitting before graduation because the position barred the hiring of lawyers. That falsehood was later discovered and she found herself in London where the misrepresentations grew.

She is now facing forgery and fraud charges in New York.

Regrettably, her scandalous case has forced the London bar to change its long-standing policy of relying on the representations of lawyers under an honor system. It took an American lawyer to change hundreds of years of tradition. Now applicants must verify key qualifications.

Source: NY Times

19 thoughts on “American Lawyer Charged With Forgery Over False Professional Claims Before London Court

  1. It’s supposed to be a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct for a lawyer to lie about anything.

    I complained to the Colorado Office of Attorney Regulation about Cari Hermancinski. She owns my old home at the intersection of Princeton and Pahwintah in Steamboat Springs. She is on the city council there. I complained that I was very familiar with the property. I saw an on line photo showing she built a big two story porch in the setback area. I swore that the setback area went to 6 inches of the previous building footprint. I had considered doing an addition in the same place and the CIty told me I couldn’t unless I got a variance. She didn’t get a variance, she just built.

    OARC said they would not investigate because this didn’t violate the Rules of Professional Conduct.

  2. Halt published a lot of reports about the attorney complaint process in the U.S. Practically all the complaints are kept secret and not ruled on.

    There is an organization called National Organization of Bar Counsel. They don’t seem to publicly address the limitations of attorney regulation in the U.S.

  3. Hardly “American” but Indian. Educational forgery is present in around 90% of Indian graduates which is a known fact even in India. Degrees can easily be acquired through bribery. Obama wants more ‘skills’ from India…. Good luck.

  4. Scott Rothstein was a lawyer in Florida who did a billion dollar ponzi scheme but he was not reported to the Attorney Regulators until he was prosecuted. You can’t tell me that the 70 lawyers who worked with him didn’t know before hand.

  5. I complained to DOJ’s Office of Professional Regulation about David C. Rybicki, a DOJ lawyer. OPR is supposed to be similar to regulations by the London Bar, only for only DOJ attorneys. Rybicki misrepresented in Federal Court that the Prisoner Tracking System and the Joint Automated Booking System don’t require a criminal charge. He misrepresented DOJ’s Privacy Act notices about these systems. See
    Federal Register/Vol. 69, No. 82/Wednesday, April 28, 2004/Notices 23213
    Federal Register/Vol. 71, No. 173/Thursday, September 7, 2006/Notices 52821

    Rybicki got Judge Bates to rule that the Joint Automated Booking System doesn’t require a criminal charge in order to take the fingerprints of citizens and put them into a national database.

    I have a pending comment about that on the Linked In page for the American Constitution Society.

    So I think that was a felony. 18 USC § 1506 – Theft or alteration of record or process; false bail. I looked that up on http://www.usdoj.gov and it seems that it is never prosecuted.

    OPR emailed to me “As we previously advised you, it is the longstanding policy of the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) to decline to investigate litigation claims that have been raised, could have been raised, or still may be raised in litigation…. Accordingly, we can be of no further assistance to you, and we are taking no further action in this matter”

    compare that to Code of Federal Regulations 28 0.39 a

  6. http://www.alas.com/

    Introduction
    In October 1979, 35 law firms pooled $1 million in capital to found Attorneys’ Liability Assurance Society (Bermuda) Ltd. (ALAS Ltd.), a mutual insurance company located in Bermuda and owned entirely by its insured member firms. Its wholly owned subsidiary, Attorneys’ Liability Assurance Society, Inc., A Risk Retention Group (ALAS, Inc.), domiciled in Vermont, with its principal office in Chicago, Illinois, was formed in 1987 to act as the primary insurance company, providing direct underwriting, policy issuance, member relations, claims management, and loss prevention services to the ALAS Ltd. membership.

    Today, ALAS, Inc. insures 228 firms and approximately 58,900 lawyers headquartered in 45 states and the District of Columbia

  7. It took an American lawyer to change hundreds of years of tradition. Now applicants must verify key qualifications.”

    American lawyers are powerful around the world.

  8. What gets me is that we’re not doing anything to help victims of government corruption in other countries sue for their rights. We don’t let people sue governments in this country, so we won’t let them sue governments in other countries. In the other countries they aren’t criminally prosecuting government thugs who rape, steal etc. but maybe if the victims could get to a jury they could get some cash compensation. This would discourage government thugs who now act with impunity.

  9. I think any organization that is based on “relying on the representations of lawyers under an honor system” is stoooooooooooo-PID.

  10. Kay,

    Having a hunch and actual knowledge of the fraud Scott did…. Could result in a slander suit…..

    This person presented forged documents to a court to practice in…. How did they not think they would get caught with the credentialing check….

  11. Malisha, There is honor in the Bristish legal system. It’s NOTHING like the dissembling barristers working in US Courts.

  12. If anyone believes this woman is the first “barrister” before the Middle Temple Hall with an embellished resume, I’ve got a (London) bridge to sell you.

    Credential checks are long overdue. Scouring the historical record would reveal more than one Barrister X who had not in fact been, as claimed, personal counsel to Lord Y.

  13. The basics of being the lawyers of your community is interesting. I have thought about studying to be a lawyer. I actually have a friend at my work who was just accepted into law school. I think it would be great in Burlington.

  14. SMFH…. i wonder how many lawyers now want to kick her in the kaboosh lmao.. she just ruined 100;s of yrs of a perfectly corrupt system all because she wanted to be 20 yrs youngers then what she really is. and i thought the 40 yr old woman going on fb pretending to be a teen and getting young boys into bed all while also pretending to have terminal cancer to her family was a hoot

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