- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 15, 2009

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A man accused of impersonating a lawyer in at least 10 states has been convicted by a federal jury in North Dakota of mail fraud and making false statements.

It took only about an hour and a half for the jury to convict Howard O. Kieffer, who shrank in his chair and gulped as the verdict was read.

The 54-year-old from Duluth, Minn., faces up to 25 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. Assistant U.S. Attorney David Hagler says Kieffer could be prosecuted in federal court in other states where he posed as a lawyer.

Two witnesses told the jury they paid Kieffer at least $20,000 to appeal prison sentences for their loved ones. Kieffer’s attorney called no witnesses but said the government did not prove its case.

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