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Phony lawyer pleads guilty to two felonies

Suzi Schor, a nonlawyer who impersonated an inactive California attorney with a similar name, pleaded guilty last month to grand theft and identity theft.

Schor was sentenced to nine months in the Los Angeles County jail, and was ordered to repay two law firms who hired her nearly $50,000.

As part of her probation, she also was ordered to use her real name at all times.

Deputy District Attorney Bill Penzin said Schor was paid almost $50,000 in wages by law firms in Calabasas and Encino who hired her as a workers' compensation attorney in 2002.

But she was not a licensed attorney and had conscripted the legal background of a colleague and presented it as her own on her resume. As her legal career evolved, Schor changed her name to Susan Schorr, an inactive lawyer who is licensed in California and works in Switzerland. Investigators believe she found Schorr by surfing the net.

Shortly before being hired by Adelson, Testan & Brundo in Calabasas, Schor changed the State Bar status of Schorr from inactive to active, paid bar dues, changed Schorr's address to her Woodland Hills address, received a bar card and ultimately tried to change the spelling of Susan Schorr's name to Suzi Schor.

Penzin credited State Bar investigator Michael Henderson with breaking the case and tracking Schor down. "He did a good job," Penzin said.

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