By CBSLA Staff

SANTA ANA (CBSLA) – A 61-year-old Newport Beach man has been sentenced to four years in prison, or credit for time served in jail, for posing as an attorney to steal from several clients he promised to help with debt consolidation and mortgage payments, according to court records obtained Wednesday.

James Frank Barker, who was sentenced on Friday, pleaded guilty Feb. 14, 2020, to 23 felonies that included grand theft, money laundering and forgery with sentencing enhancements for aggravated white collar crime between $100,000 and $500,000, property loss exceeding $200,000 and property damage exceeding $65,000.

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Barker posed as an attorney between December 2013 and July 2015 when he solicited clients with promises to consolidate their debts and lower mortgage payments through loan modifications, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

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Barker did not do any of the services he promised, prosecutors said. Barker was arrested in May 2017.

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)