A Skokie man acted as an attorney in more than 60 cases. One problem, say prosecutors: He didn’t have a law degree
Tahir Malik, 47, is charged with two felony counts of false impersonation of a lawyer, according to a Cook County Sheriff’s office release.
At a hearing before Judge Earl B. Hoffenberg, a sheriff’s deputy testified staff at the Skokie courthouse grew suspicious of Malik and found he is not licensed to practice law after questioning him.
He has been held at the Cook County Jail since Dec. 17 on a contempt of court and false impersonation charge, the release said.
“No one suspected anything for years because he did everything right -- except obtain a law degree,” Sheriff Tom Dart said in the release.
“From his own arrest history, he was familiar enough with the court system to make certain motions and file certain documents in the court. There is no question that dozens of people from all over Cook County were misled by this guy,” Dart said.
Documents in his possession and an investigation now tie him to more than 60 cases, including traffic court, mortgage foreclosures and low-level criminal cases at the Skokie and Bridgeview courthouses, and at the Daley Center, along with hearings of various city boards, the release said.
Some deceived clients have been identified and contacted to determine how much has been paid to Malik for his so-called legal work. Investigators believe he has charged $500 to $4,500 cash per case, the release said. He is believed to have handled cases, entered please on clients’ behalf and represented them at sentencing when they received community service.
Malik was convicted of burglary and served time in prison. He has also been charged with theft, shoplifting and criminal trespass, the release said.
Bond was set at $250,000 on Friday and Malik will next appear in court . He will appear hearings Tuesday on the contempt charges and Jan. 28 on the felony charges, the release said.
The sheriff’s office has also established a hotline at (773) 869-6466 for others who may have been affected.