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Disbarred Frederick attorney sent to prison for fraud scheme

A disbarred, former Frederick solo practitioner was sentenced Thursday to three-and-a-half years in prison for mail fraud and filing a false tax return.

Richard A. Brennan had pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt in May. Brennan had launched several businesses that claimed to offer debt settlement services even though his employees had no training or experience in the field and were not qualified to help clients with their finances, according to court documents.

In addition to the prison sentence, U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang ordered Brennan to pay a $150,000 fine, $2.9 million in restitution to his former clients and $297,087 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.

The Maryland attorney general’s office and the Attorney Grievance Commission had both received complaints from Brennan’s clients stating they had been deceived by telemarketers who convinced them to engage Brennan’s services but then had little success in settling their debts, according to a press release from the office of Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. The scheme involved more than 250 victims.

Brennan was disbarred in 2009 for misusing money clients paid him for debt settlement services.

About Lauren Kirkwood

Lauren Kirkwood covers the business of law beat at The Daily Record.