NEW YORK (TIP): An Indian-American lawyer, who liedabout her work experience and shaved nearly 20 years offher age in an effort to be admitted to the British bar, hasbeen convicted by a New York judge.The lawyer, Soma Sengupta, 52, was convicted on Fridayof nine deception charges in a Manhattan court, whereJustice Thomas Farber of State Supreme Court decided thecase without a jury at her request, the New York Timesreported.
“One could not help but be struck by the sheermagnitude and the intensity and breadth of the defendant’slies and schemes and deceitful behavior,” Farber wasquoted as saying.Sengupta, who now lives in New Jersey, was convicted ofeight felony forgery and false instrument counts and onemisdemeanour conspiracy charge.The most serious count carries a maximum prisonsentence of seven years.Farber scheduled her sentencing for March 22.”For 10 years, this defendant piled lie upon lie until thetower of deception she built finally fell in upon itself,”Cyrus R. Vance Jr., the Manhattan district attorney, said ina statement after the verdict.
Sengupta graduated from Georgetown Law School in 1998and passed the bar exam in New York State in 2000,according to the Times, and worked as a paralegal for theManhattan district attorney’s office and as a volunteer forthe Legal Aid Society.Sengupta never appeared in court or wrote court briefsin either job. But when she applied for admission to theBritish bar, she claimed to have been an accomplished triallawyer in both posts, which allowed her to avoid one year ofclass work, Times said.She also forged reference letters, transcripts fromGeorgetown that inflated her academic achievements and abirth certificate.Sengupta’s scheme began to unravel after a clerk in theBritish law firm doubted a claim on her application thatshe was 29. She was actually then in her late 40s.