Lawsuit (263466)

Faces nine felony counts

A Lake Balboa man with a prior conviction for unlawful practice of law was scheduled for arraignment this week on nine felony counts for allegedly falsely claiming to be a licensed attorney and offering legal services in family law and personal injury cases, along with other legal matters.

Efferin Deans, 55, is charged with three felony counts each of grand theft and practicing law without being a member of the State Bar after a prior conviction, two felony counts of preparing false documentary evidence and one felony count of perjury by declaration, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Deans allegedly claimed to own The Law Offices of Deans & Associates in Canoga Park between January 2019 and September 2021 and allegedly filed court documents and appeared on the record as a licensed attorney, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

He is also accused of providing clients and court staff with business cards and other indications of his standing as an attorney in an effort to get retainers and fees paid, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

“Practicing law without a license is illegal in California, unfair to the unsuspecting client and can cause irreparable harm to the client’s case,” District Attorney George Gascon said in a statement announcing the case.

The case, filed late last month, stems from an investigation by the District Attorney’s Notario Fraud Unit of the Consumer Protection Division, with assistance from the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs and the State Bar of California.

The criminal complaint alleges that Deans has prior convictions from 2010 for unlawful practice of law and 1999 for criminal threats.

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