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DA: Woman faked being an attorney at O.C. Jail

July 17, 2012 |  5:46 pm

Oc jail
A 56-year-old Elk Grove woman could go to state prison on charges of drug possession and pretending to be a lawyer.

Prosecutors say that on March 20, Ellen Anise Rowland went to an interview booth at the Orange County jail and pretended to be an attorney during a conversation with an inmate.

She had taken $1,700 from the inmate’s father, who had apparently found her through a family friend, and pretended that she would do legal work on the inmate’s child-custody case, said prosecutor Chris Duff of the Orange County district attorney’s office.

When deputies, following protocol, asked for her attorney identification card, Rowland said it was in her car, and gave a name--Ellen Williams--belonging to an actual attorney, prosecutors say.

Suspicious deputies called the real Ellen Williams to confirm the fraud, and during a subsequent search found 11 Vicodin pills in Rowland's possession, for which she lacked a prescription, prosecutors say.

She was arrested at the jail, prosecutors say, and now faces a misdemeanor count of the unauthorized practice of law, as well as a felony count of possession of a controlled substance.

Rowland, who could face four years in prison, will be arraigned Wednesday in Santa Ana.

--Christopher Goffard

Photo: Orange County Jail. Credit: Los Angeles Times