NEW: Rep. Medina Arrested Again
Thursday, November 08, 2012
Embattled State Rep. Leo Medina was arrested last week and charged with two counts each of 1) Obtaining Money Under False Pretenses, 2) Unauthorized Holdout as Qualified to Practice Law, 3) Agreement to Furnish Legal Services, 4) Solicitation of Business by Agents, 5) Compensation of Unqualified Persons for Legal Services, 6) Receipts of Fee as Practice of Law, and 7) Practice Restricted to Members of the Bar.
The investigation, conducted by the Financial Crimes Unit, was initiated by information forwarded from the Superior Court Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee. Medina was taken into custody at his residence on Washington Street.
In August 2012 the Rhode Island State Police Financial Crimes Unit received information from the Superior Court Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee relative to a complaint they had received from two unrelated victims, who alleged that Leonidas Medina led them to believe he was an attorney and subsequently solicited fees from them for his legal services. Leonidas Medina is not a member of the Rhode Island Bar Association.
The investigation revealed the following;
• In February 2009 Leonidas Medina knocked on the door of the complainant's home unsolicited and introduced himself as an attorney, who was not licensed to practice law in Rhode Island, but worked closely with another Providence attorney. Medina also told the complainant that he was an ex-Navy Seal, who had experience with the Military Court System. The complainant was an active member of the U.S. Armed Services and facing serious criminal charges by the Providence Police Department. Medina described the complainant's current attorney as not experienced enough to represent him as effectively as Medina and his partner attorney. Medina further pitched the sale of his legal services to the complainant by telling him that if he hired him, he would be getting two attorneys for the price of one. As a result of Medina's false representations, the complainant paid Medina and his partner attorney over $45,000.00 for legal services that Medina was not licensed and/or qualified to provide.
• In February 2010, the complainant responded to South Side Professional Services, located on Broad Street in the City of Providence, to inquire about legal representation in a divorce. The complainant had learned of the services provided by South Side Professional Services from a radio advertisement she had heard on a Spanish-speaking radio station. After speaking with Medina directly about her needs, Medina quoted the complainant a fee of $1,350.00 for his legal services. The complainant subsequently paid Medina a $675.00 deposit for his legal services and provided him with information and documents that he had requested in order to start the legal process of her divorce. After receiving the complainant's initial deposit and information, Medina failed to return the complainant's calls.
Medina, who lost his Democratic primary to Joe Almieda, was arraigned at Sixth Division District Court this morning and released on $10,000 personal recognizance.