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updated: 7/21/2011 5:19 PM

Man who impersonated a lawyer sentenced to two years in prison

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A Skokie man who authorities say spent at least five years representing individuals at courthouses in Skokie, Bridgeview and Chicago's Daley Center was sentenced to two years in prison this week after pleading guilty to forgery and impersonating a lawyer.

Tahir Malik, 47, "did everything right except get a law degree," said Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart after sheriff's police arrested Malik earlier this year at the Skokie courthouse. They had been alerted by a clerk that Malik was not a licensed attorney.

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Malik pleaded guilty to four separate charges for which he was ordered to pay $580 to $680 in fines. Court records indicate he will serve his sentences concurrently. He received credit for the 213 days he has spent in custody since his arrest.

Police recovered evidence from Malik's briefcase that tied him to dozens of clients involved in traffic and criminal matters as well as foreclosures.

Malik previously served time in prison for burglary. Authorities suggested that may have been where he learned enough about law and legal procedures to deceive clients.

Malik reportedly charged clients from $500 to $4,500 for his services, authorities said.

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