Sikeston man pleads guilty to fraud

A Sikeston, Missouri, man has pleaded guilty to charges that he falsely used a name and Missouri Bar number to practice law. 

The U.S. attorney’s office says the man, 51-year-old James Arnold, participated in a scheme between January 2010 and January 2014 to defraud and get money from individuals, law firms, legal staffing businesses, and other businesses of more than $350,000. The attorney’s office says he did that by claiming he was a licensed attorney.

Court documents say Arnold graduated from the University of Missouri School of Law, Kansas City, in July, 1992, but he never passed the Missouri Bar Examination and was never been licensed to practice law in Missouri.

Arnold pleaded guilty before United States District Judge E. Richard Webber, in St. Louis to a felony count of mail fraud, a felony count of aggravated identity theft and a count of failure to file tax returns.

Sentencing has been set for April 7.

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