DENVER, April 5 (UPI) -- Convicted imposter lawyer Howard Kieffer goes on trial in federal court in Denver Wednesday on additional charges arising from posing as a lawyer.
Kieffer, who is serving a 51-month sentence for a federal conviction in North Dakota where he also attempted to practice law without a license, faces up to 35 years in prison and $1.25 million in fines if found guilty on the latest charges, The Denver Post reported Monday.
Court records reveal Kieffer, who never graduated from law school, represented 16 clients in 10 federal jurisdictions, the newspaper said.
His activities also have ramifications for Gwen Bergman, a convicted Aspen woman he represented.
Bergman was found guilty in a murder-for-hire case in 2008 and sentenced to nine years in prison. But a three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled her right to counsel was violated at an Oct. 23, 2007, hearing when she was found mentally competent to stand trial. Kieffer had advised Bergman to go forward with a trial, something prior defense lawyers had advised against, the Post said.
Her case has been sent back to a lower court judge to conduct an evidentiary hearing to determine whether she really was competent at the time. Bergman, who was convicted of trying to hire a hit man to kill her son's father, could wind up with a new trial.