DOJ: Disbarred attorney from Mason arrested after using fake ID to get hired

MASON — A disbarred attorney who previously practiced law in the Cincinnati area was arrested Thursday by federal agents for allegedly using a fake identity to get hired by at least three different law firms, according to a Department of Justice Press release.

Richard Louis Crosby III, of Mason, is facing charges of aggravated identity theft, wire fraud and Social Security member fraud, prosecutors said.

Crosby indicated his intent to resign from practicing law in April 2021 following a complaint filed the previous year by the Cincinnati Bar Association, according to court documents.

Prosecutors said later that year, Crosby was indicted on charges in Hamilton County for allegedly stealing client funds two separate times. After his indictments, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio entered an order disbarring Crosby.

He was arrested in May 2022 and then sentenced to probation in June 2023.

According to federal court documents, while Crosby’s cases were pending in Hamilton County, he used the alias “Richard Williams” to get hired at a Washington, D.C. law firm in 2021. Then in September 2022, Crosby used the false identity to apply for a law firm in Miami, investigators said. A short time later, he was offered a job with a starting salary of $185,000 along with a $5,000 signing bonus, according to prosecutors.

Crosby is accused of using another individual’s Social Security number, passport number and banking information to complete his onboarding paperwork with the law firm. Investigators said in April 2023, the Florida law firm received a tip from an investigator with the Clermont County Child Support Enforcement Office, making the firm aware of their new hire’s actual identity, which led to his termination.

In July 2023, Crosby once again used the alias to attempt to get a job. This time, he allegedly interviewed with senior management of a law firm in Coral Gables, Florida. Prosecutors said Crosby “doctored a screen shot” of the name “Richard Coleman Williams Jr.” in the online DC bar membership directory to attach his name to the resume.

Following the interview, investigators said the firm offered Crosby a job with a starting salary of $195,000 with a singing bonus of $10,000. According to a press release, the firm eventually determined Crosby was using a fake identity and did not hire him.

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