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Authorities are searching for a 44-year-old convicted child abuser now accused of posing as an attorney to con a convict's family out of $70,000.
The Miami Herald reports Imer Armando Perez vanished this week as state agents sought to arrest him on charges of grand theft and practicing law without a license.
Perez is on probation after serving two years for aggravated child abuse. The Herald reports he apparently honed his skills as a "jailhouse lawyer" by doing legal research in jail.
Relatives of Scotty Posada hired Perez in January. He told them he'd spoken to prosecutors, who agreed to vacate Posada's 27-year sentence. They paid him $70,000. Perez said Posado would be released in 90 days.
The family eventually suspected fraud and contacted authorities.
"It is always a shameful act when swindlers walk the halls of our courthouse taking advantage of individuals in need," Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement. "Guaranteeing a legal result, irrelevant of the existing evidence, is the surest sign that some sort of trickery is at play. Don’t be a victim of a scam. If you have any concerns about your legal representation, you can always check a lawyer’s status with the Florida Bar."