Posted On: July 17, 2008 by Marc Neff

Philadelphia and New York City Defrauded of Thousands of Dollars

Richard Gottfried, an ex-convict, concealed his criminal past in order to obtain employment as a court-appointed sentencing consultant in both Philadelphia and New York City. He advertised himself as a mitigation specialist, offering his services to criminal defense lawyers, promising to help gather information that would benefit defendants at sentencing hearings. In doing so, he was able to cheat the Philadelphia Court system out of nearly $400,000 and New York City Courts out of $60,000. Gottfried admitted to the Philadelphia scheme, but pled not guilty in New York, to charges of grand larceny, offering a false instrument for filing and falsifying business records.

Gottfried was involved in a New Jersey Real Estate scam in 1996, for which he served 20-months of a federal sentence; a crime for which District Attorney dubbed Gottfried a “Great Pretender”. However, he was able to charm himself into a position with the Philadelphia criminal court system. Five years later, he was accused of forging a phony law-degree, a phony psychologist’s license, and forging lawyer’s signatures on invoices which defrauded the city of nearly $400,000. He pled guilty to charges including theft by deception, in February of 2007, and was sentenced to as many as 23-months in prison.

In 2004, Gottfried began working for the New York City Court system and is accused of billing the city for over $60,000 worth of non-existent work relating to 42 defendants, one of which had already closed his case. Gottfried is currently on work-release for the charges he pled guilty to in Philadelphia. He faces a potential 15-year prison sentence if convicted in the New York City case.

The Law Offices of Marc Neff have over 20-years of experience successfully defending clients charged with fraud and related offenses. If you are under investigation of fraud, or have been charged with a criminal offense, contact our offices immediately. There are defenses available to you, and the Law Offices of Marc Neff can assist in developing a successful defense.